Mr. Brooks: In West Philadelphia, Not Born But Raised

By: Savannah Smalley (282) 

It started with a question and ended with a connection to an old teacher. Introducing Mr. Brooks (262), Central’s newest assistant principal, to our school community. He was born in D.C. but quickly made his way to Philadelphia and was raised in West Philadelphia. He started his career journey as a GED instructor for two years and has been working in schools for the past twelve years at Mastery Charter Harrity Elementary, Mastery Charter Clymer Elementary, KIPP, and String Theory. He then left Philly to work in Colonial School District until the spring of last year when he decided to come to the School District of Philadelphia to work at Central High School. 

This led me to my first question for Mr. Brooks: “What brought you to Central?” He explained that he “wanted to be a leader” and there was an opportunity for him to be one here alongside President Davis. He added that he “could not pass up that opportunity.” Leadership is a quality that Mr. Brooks values. As an assistant principal of a prestigious high school, you have to bring something to the table. Mr. Brooks is going to do just that. As an assistant principal, he has big goals for our school to “support the strong habits that are happening in [our] school.” He wants to rethink ways of conflict resolution, such as “how students communicate with adults in the building, how students advocate for themselves, [and] how students mediate their disagreements.” All of this is according to how staff, students, and parents feel about the school climate. 

So far, he has brought a lot of vibrant energy to Central. There is always a hello and a handshake when you see Mr. Brooks. He believes that he will add “excitement” and “positive energy” to our school, and he is doing just that. Just walk through the halls and I’m sure you’ll see Mr. Brooks. One of the most friendly and outgoing educators I have ever met, I am sure he will bring a lot to Central. He also adds diversity, something that is valued in our community. “As a Black male educator, those are very unique in education,” and that is true. Nationally only two percent of educators are Black men compared to the 13.6% of Black males in America. All in all, my interview with Mr. Brooks started off with a mere question of “Can I interview you?” and ended with laughs and a renewed connection with an administrator who, as I eventually realized, was a former teacher at my elementary school. His goals to build connections with students and staff are  already being met, and I highly recommend everyone go give Mr. Brooks a handshake and introduce themselves.

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