After spending much of her teaching career in Bossier Parish, Doyline Assistant Prinicipal Sheri’ Brown has finally come back to her alma mater.
“Sometimes I’ll have moments of, ‘Wow, I’m really here,’” she said. “This is my first 24 days, and I’ve enjoyed it. This is my hometown, this is my school. This is where I graduated from.”
She worked at J.E. Harper Elementary from 2015 until this last school year as dean of students, and although she loved her role at Harper, when she was given the opportunity to return to her alma mater, she jumped on it and has been running ever since. She graduated from Doyline in 1989 under the late Jimmy Stewart. Involved in everything from basketball to softball, Brown said she loved her school then and loved her principal.
“When I walk around these halls now, I think, ‘This is my school,’” she said. “When I walk around and see things, I just have these memories. I had a great principal. Jimmy Stewart was amazing. Not many people can say ‘I loved my high school principal,’ but I loved my high school principal. When he died, it just devastated me. He was one of the best.”
At the time, Doyline was a sixth through 12 school, and now it is a pre-K through 12 school. About 10 or 12 of the faculty are alumni, she said.
“It is very unique to have half of your faculty as alumni,” she said. “It says a lot about our school. I think a lot of that was just ingrained in us by previous principals and faculty to love this town and love this school.”
One of the things she and Principal Leroy Hamilton are focusing on this year is building the school culture. More than 100 teachers from Webster Parish attended the Model Schools Conference over the summer and they were able to network with other teachers and learn some of the things that work at other schools.
Brown attributes much of the morale boost to Superintendent of Schools Johnny Rowland Jr. who officially took the position July 1. She said it is his vision to make sure that all the employees feel like they are cared about, and that positive morale trickles down to the students, in turn increasing test scores. Doyline has been a “B” school for the last couple of years, and she feels it is the love of the school that is part of that letter grade.
Hamilton and Brown want to bring back the community spirit and reconnect the school with the community.
One of the ways to do that is to bring back the bonfires at the Meet the Panthers event before basketball season begins and move it off school property and back into the downtown area.
“Hamilton has got some great ideas and there are some things we want to implement,” she said. “It’s really just sparked the community. Hamilton is from a small town too, so he gets it. It’s already a great school, and we’re just ready to take it as far as it can go and take it to the top.”
Brown graduated from Louisiana State University in Shreveport in 1995 with dual certification in early childhood special education and regular education. She received her education masters and education leadership in 2010. She is also a National Board Certified Teacher.
She has been married for 17 years and has two daughters, one that just graduated from Doyline in 2016 and another in seventh grade.