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Community remembers Dr. Brown


Kind words from Times readers, Harris named interim superintendent

By Ralph Hardin


That’s all Betty Harvison said on a post on the Evening Times Facebook page, but it summed up quite succinctly how much of the community is feeling as they process the sudden and unexpected death of West Memphis native and first-year superintendent of schools Dr. Terrence Brown.

Brown suffered a massive heart attack and was found dead in his vehicle Tuesday morning.

A planned school board meeting Tuesday evening was turned into an impromptu vigil for Dr. Brown who was just weeks away from completing his first year at the helm of the West Memphis School District.

Social media lit up with those offering their thoughts on Brown and his legacy at WMSD.

“Condolences to a great friend and fellow classmate!” said Rob Denson. “Our prayers go out to the Brown Family .

James Watkins said, “So sad and such a shock. Prayers for his family and the west Memphis school district.”

Many others chimed in to offers prayers, condolences and kind words for the superintendent and his family — both at home and his school family. “My sincere condolences to the Brown family members,” said James Williamson. “We pray with you all and ask God to comfort their hearts. peace be with each of you.”

Dr. Brown’s legacy at the helm of the West Memphis, though short, will be one of leadership and restoration.

Brown came to the job during a tumultuous time for the district, as the school board had just fired the previous superintendent Richard Atwill and named Willie Rhodes, who was not licensed in the State of Arkansas to be a districtlevel administrator, as his interim replacement.

Ultimately the board chose Dr. Brown as the new superintendent. Brown quickly righted the ship, curtailing the board’s agenda while enacting a number of new policies aimed at more efficient spending and improving overall education in the district.

The school board held a meeting on Wednesday evening to conduct business that was put off Tuesday night. During the meeting, longtime WMSD assistant superintendent was appointed as interim superintendent as they begin looking for a successor.

Photo by Jane Russell

Photos courtesy of WMSD

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