New Veterans principal approved by Houston BOE

PERRY -- Decisions at school board meetings don’t often draw cheers, but that’s what happened in Houston County on Tuesday.

As the board announced and voted unanimously to approve Chris Brown as the new principal of Veterans High School, parent Lisa Burnette let out a shriek of joy.

Burnette has two children who attend Veterans -- senior Austin and junior Shelby -- and she said Brown was an ideal candidate to replace Lionel Brown, who is leaving the post at the end of the school year to take over as the county’s executive director of secondary operations.

“(Chris) Brown is his right-hand man at the school,” Burnette said, noting that the school has a strong administrative team that includes Brown as an assistant principal.

“Especially the two of them have created an environment of responsibility and respect. ... They expect the kids to act responsibly, but they reward the kids and treat them with respect.”

The reaction drew smiles from the board members and Superintendent Mark Scott.

“It was just a sense of pride that came over me that we have affirmation from parents,” Scott said.

A 2000 graduate of Perry High School, Chris Brown has been an administrator at Veterans since the school opened in 2010. While Scott and board Chairwoman Marianne Melnick said there were several good candidates for the position, including some from within the system, Brown “best matched that school” and its needs.

“Because of his experience being there, ... he has a perspective that others didn’t bring at this time,” Melnick said.

Brown and his wife, Christina, have two daughters, Aubrey and Bailey. Before serving at Veterans, he taught physical education at Tucker Elementary and coached baseball and football at Perry High.

“I am extremely honored and appreciate the vote of confidence by the Board of Education and Dr. Scott,” Brown said in a statement from the school system. “My family and I are humbled and excited to serve our Warhawk family in this new capacity.”

The board also unanimously approved a pair of land transactions, one a purchase near Perry High School and the other the sale of surplus property near Matt Arthur Elementary.

A proposal for a new wellness program policy will have to be tabled for 30 days so the public can give input. Melnick said the policy didn’t include any major changes from what the system is already doing. It was required because of federal funding the district receives.

“You always table a new policy for 30 days,” she said.

To contact writer Jeremy Timmerman, call 744-4331.