Brown named permanent assistant principal at NHS
After serving in an interim capacity this year, Newberg High School assistant principal Mark Brown was appointed to the position on a permanent basis by Superintendent Joe Morelock last week.
Brown, who also coaches the NHS boys basketball team, was a teacher for six years prior to taking the interim job and joins an administration that hopes to provide continuity and consistency for students. With so much turnover at the highest levels in the NHS staff, Brown said he hopes the hiring of permanent principal Tami Erion – along with the work of him and his fellow assistants – will give students a feeling of stability.
"My primary focus is the culture-building piece and continuing to maintain and build that," Brown said. "We want a healthy and positive climate among students, staff and the community, and if we buy into that we will see positive results. Our job is to educate students, but it's a big tent and we have to bring everybody in, whether they be coaches, parents or community members."
One of Brown and his colleagues' other focuses will be increasing attendance at NHS, something that he said coincides with success for students in the classroom. Working to support students who face barriers getting to school, he said, is an important first step.
A lot of that ties into building what Brown calls a "positive culture," which will be made easier by having the same people in leadership year after year.
According to a release by the school district, Brown's duties will include "giving oversight to attendance, culture, communication, facilities, 8th to 9th grade transition, the math department, and the College and Career Center."
In the release, Morelock called Brown's appointment the "right thing" for NHS and added he is doing a great job and is invested in Newberg.
Adjusting to his new role this year in the administration has been challenging, Brown said, especially when he balances it with coaching the basketball team – a major time commitment in itself. The Tigers made the playoffs this season after a solid finish to Pacific Conference play, but lost in the first round to No. 6 seed Grant.
Brown chalks up his success in balancing work with coaching to the support of his family and coworkers.
"It's been different for sure," he said. "Year-round, there's a little more responsibility in the administrative role in addition to my nighttime responsibilities as coach. I've found that coaching basketball is kind of an escape for me – it doesn't feel like work oftentimes."
Looking ahead to the future, Brown said he envisions an opportunity to make NHS a better place every day. As an assistant principal for the second year in a row next year, he expects he and others will be able to affect change in ways they haven't before.
"We have an amazing group of staff and students," Brown said. "The community support that we have is unbelievable, too, so I'm excited to help keep improving Newberg High School and be part of the leadership team."