Posted on

Superintendent for WMSD Dr. Terrence Brown passes away unexpectedly


Brown had served just shy of one year as head of school district


The West Memphis community is mourning the tragic loss of Superintendent Terrence Brown, who passed away from a fatal heart attack in the early morning hours of Tuesday, May 21. Brown, who had been serving as Superintendent of the West Memphis School District since July 1, 2023, was known for his dedication to education and his passion for making a difference in the lives of students.

Before taking on the role of Superintendent in West Memphis, Dr. Brown had an extensive career in education, serving as the Deputy Superintendent for the Forrest City School District and holding various leadership positions in Memphis schools. He was a former student of West Memphis High School, East Junior High School, and Weaver Elementary School, and believed that school districts were the backbone of a community.

In an interview shortly after beginning his role as Superintendent, Brown expressed his excitement about returning to his hometown and his commitment to making West Memphis a level 1 district. He was proud of his accomplishments in previous school districts, particularly in leading turnaround situations and increasing student success.

Dr. Brown’s mother, Shirley Brown, a fellow educator, was a source of inspiration for him, and he often referenced the quote by Epictetus – “Only the educated are free” – to describe his educational philosophy.

Throughout his career, Brown had a signi_cant impact on the schools and communities he served. He was known for his leadership in increasing industry certi_cations and licenses for students and for helping schools meet academic goals. His dedication to education was evident in his academic achievements, including a Bachelor of Science in Education from Henderson State University, a Master of Science in Education from Arkansas State University, and a Doctor of Education degree from the University of Memphis.

Upon taking the position Brown said “The prospect of returning to my home town and leading our school district is not something that I take lightly. The kind words of support that I have received from members of the community are a source of encouragement. I know

See BROWN, page A2

“Blue is all that matters,” Dr. Brown once said, reflecting his deep connection to his hometown and his determination to make a difference in the lives of those around him.

File photo BROWN

From page A1

that there is work to be done and I am looking forward to beginning this journey.”

His legacy as an educator and friend will be remembered by all who knew him, and his commitment to the students, teachers, and staff of WMSD will continue to inspire future generations. “Blue is all that matters,” Dr. Brown once said, reflecting his deep connection to his hometown and his determination to make a difference in the lives of those around him.

Assistant Superintendent Willie Harris is expected to take over the duties of superintendent until another candidate is chosen.

“The West Memphis School family is in a state of shock and grief asking for your prayers as we navigate through this day and the days ahead. Please pray for the Brown family. We are asking that you respect their privacy as the family adjusts to the passing of their precious loved one,” Assistant Superintendent Willie Harris said in a statement.

Scroll Up