Elizabeth Dranitzke

Sah Brown

Sah Brown served as the dynamic principal of Capitol Hill’s Eastern High School for six years. In this interview, he describes his nontraditional route to a career in education and talks about Eastern’s distinguished history, vibrant present, and supportive community.

He tells how he dreamed of a basketball career, playing college ball at Lehigh University and spending two years in the NBA minor leagues. Later, bitten by the “education bug,” his life took a new and rewarding direction. He taught special education in District of Columbia Public Schools, then moved into administration. He became Eastern’s principal in 2016, and in fall 2022 was named principal of Jackson-Reed High School (formerly Wilson High School), where he had served as assistant principal. Brown’s great pride in Eastern’s students, faculty, staff, and community is evident in this interview, done in preparation for his receipt of a 2022 Community Achievement Award. He describes Eastern’s goals as a comprehensive neighborhood high school, the growth of its International Baccalaureate program, and three memorable moments: watching students cross the stage to receive their diplomas at his first graduation as principal, experiencing the student-organized response to the 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, and joining students and faculty on Walk to School Day, led up East Capitol Street by the renowned Eastern band.

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Interview Date
January 26, 2022
Stephanie Deutsch
Nancy Lazear
Ellen Hirzy

Full Directory

Interview with Sah Brown
Interview Date: January 26, 2022
Interviewer: Stephanie Deutsch
Transcriber: Nancy Lazear
Editor: Ellen Hirzy

photo by Elizabeth Dranitzke

[The first part of this interview was inadvertently not recorded. Notes taken by the interviewer during that period include the following:
When asked about the challenges that the Covid pandemic posed during the past two years, for Eastern High School and for him as principal, Mr. Brown said, “I don't really think of them as challenges. I see them more as opportunities.” He said the pandemic made clear who in the school community needed more support and had led to different ways of doing things. He said he sees himself as a “values-based leader,” and Eastern as “the Pride of Capitol Hill.”
One of the things they the faculty and staff did [at Eastern] during Covid was to redefine the school’s core values as Passion, Respect, Innovation, Determination, and Excellence. He said, “in times of challenge you need passion” to keep you going. You are better off if you love what you are doing “at your core,” and he does!
Mr. Brown said that at Eastern before the pandemic they had been working on what they called “blended learning,” where through a combination of in-person and virtual instruction students can advance at their own pace and make up a class if they miss it. They had already been working on this before the pandemic, but the situation made it more important.
Sah Brown grew up in Amityville on Long Island, New York. He has two older sisters. His family really stressed education. He was impressed that his father worked “extremely hard” and had several jobs in order to pay for his children to go to private schools. So Sah became aware of the difference between schools. “I saw two different worlds.” His father grew up in the Bronx and attended a vocational high school there. “He wanted us to have more.”
Early on he discovered a love of basketball (Mr. Brown is about 6 ft. 8 in. tall—he looks like a basketball player.) He played in high school and was recruited to play at Lehigh University. He loved the education he got there, majoring in political science but hoping to make a career in basketball. For two years after college he played minor league NBA ball with brief stints in Cozumel, Mexico, and Shenyang, China. He called that a “wild experience” and said he was homesick and ready to come home in 2002.
Remainder is transcribed from the recording, which started when while discussing his time away.
BROWN: … to return back home to the States, so …
DEUTSCH: Just homesick and …
BROWN: Well, homesick and then the business of basketball. I’d say the business of basketball took the joy out of it for me. And I decided to deflate the ball.
DEUTSCH: [laughs] I think you said that before.
BROWN: Yes, there comes a time …
DEUTSCH: Decided to deflate the ball, we’re done.
BROWN: Yes, deflate the ball and focus on some other pursuits.
DEUTSCH: When you had majored in political science, what prompted that?
BROWN: I was looking to go into law, a background in law. But again, you know, the love of basketball was so strong, and I think sports and athletics helped so many individuals that I again pursued that and I was always …. If you ever wonder how I made the transition into education, it was one which I didn’t see coming.
DEUTSCH: Uh huh.
BROWN: So I had always wanted to, if I wasn’t playing basketball, I always said the dream job for me would be a college basketball coach, because I just liked the traveling, and being around the game, so I was going to attempt to pursue that. And when I stopped playing basketball, I relocated. When I came back, when I decided to deflate the ball, I came and moved to DC, the DC area because my roommate from college had been here and we had always talked about reconnecting so came here to DC. And then, obviously needing some income and a job, I started working at a bank in DC. And I would go into schools to talk to students about the importance of financial literacy and opening accounts and things of that nature. And then I met a principal who was coming into the bank, a principal at, ironically enough, a DCPS [District of Columbia Public Schools] elementary school. And we started a conversation and he asked me—I was telling him about my background and things of that nature—and he said, well, have you ever considered teaching? And I said no I hadn’t. And he said you should look into it and consider it. And he told me about an alternative route to teaching program, the DC Teaching Fellows, which takes career professionals outside the industry and brings them in and they go through course work and programming to earn their certification in teaching. So I applied for that.
DEUTSCH: What’s it called?
BROWN: It was the DC Teaching Fellows.
BROWN: So I applied and was admitted into that program. And again, in the back of my head, I am approaching it from the lens of okay, I could start teaching and get into coaching.
DEUTSCH: [laughs]
BROWN: And that got me—I started teaching at Anacostia High School in DCPS, and this is in 2005.
DEUTSCH: And what were you teaching?
BROWN: Special education.
DEUTSCH: Did you have any background in that other than what you got in the Teaching Fellows program?
BROWN: The Teaching Fellows program and the coursework that I took in that. So as I [taught special education], I saw the success that my students were having and the connections that I made with my students, and the support that I got from my principal, and getting involved in different committees around the school, and just different programs to help out, there really wasn’t time for basketball. I was bit by the … the education bug, the love of teaching, the love of this work. And, um, yeah, I …
DEUTSCH: You finally had to …
BROWN: I found where I needed to be. So that’s my background that led me into education.
DEUTSCH: Well, that’s not very typical.
BROWN: No, no, it’s not. It’s not the traditional route.
DEUTSCH: But it brings in a whole lot of good other stuff.
BROWN: Oh yeah, absolutely, absolutely. It’s not—but it did give me exposure to a lot of different things, a lot of insight, a lot of different people …
DEUTSCH: Do you still get to play basketball? In an adult league at all …
BROWN: [laughs] No, no, I think I need to, you know I really think I need to. I got a call from someone saying hey, come join this 40 and over league. And I said no, I put up so many shots in my life I think I’m okay.
DEUTSCH: [laughs]
BROWN: But again, it’s the time. So now … it’s enjoyable to watch our own team play here at Eastern. It’s enjoyable, obviously.
DEUTSCH: Does Eastern have a good basketball team?
BROWN: We’re getting better, yes, we’re getting better. I’m really excited about our programs. And that’s one of the great things about Eastern, there’s so much to offer kids. You know, I always say as I’m talking to families, you can experience it all at Eastern: the strong academics, the amazing extracurriculars, a supportive community and access here on Capitol Hill. It really is, it really is phenomenal. It really is.
DEUTSCH: And of course the band.
BROWN: The marching band, the choir. I mean you can experience it all. The garden …
DEUTSCH: The garden. Tell me about the garden.
BROWN: Oh, well, I mean that’s one of the best-kept secrets where we have a large space. I don’t know in terms of across the city, but I would probably bet that we have one of the largest footprints for a school-based garden within the city. And it brings students together, not only Eastern students but students from across the city through our partnership with City Blossoms where they bring students in, they bring volunteers in to get it ready to prepare different products that students make. They create teas and oils and they sell them. You know, they plant oregano and they sell it. You know, different things …
DEUTSCH: Like at Eastern Market? Or where do they sell them?
BROWN: Throughout the city. I don’t know if we’ve done Eastern Market. I’m pretty sure we have, but wherever City Blossoms does, some of these …
DEUTSCH: I can look up City Blossoms. [From the organization’s website: “City Blossoms is a nonprofit that cultivates the well-being of our communities through creative programming in kid-driven gardens. We envision cities with abundant, accessible green spaces where communities thrive and children build lifelong connections to the natural world.”]
BROWN: Where they’ll do some of these … I feel like we might have gone to RFK [RFK Stadium Open-Air Farmers’ Market, 2615 Benning Road NE] now that they’re doing …
DEUTSCH: The market down there …
BROWN: The fields at RFK, yeah. These different markets that take place on weekends throughout the area. And it helps the children with business as well. And it brings volunteers in, which is great. I always like when we can have people actually come into the school and see what we’re doing and help give back in that way. So we’ve had some different corporations and programs come in, companies come in for their own day of service just to clear weeds and help get everything ready. So it’s been phenomenal, and we were recognized in Better Homes and Gardens a couple of years ago.
BROWN: So it’s just phenomenal work that takes place that I’m glad people had a chance to see, and I’ve been here to see it grow.
DEUTSCH: So what do you see as the biggest challenges ahead for Eastern?
BROWN: Hm. The biggest challenges ahead. So, again, not seeing them as challenges, but the biggest opportunities I see for Eastern ahead …
DEUTSCH: [laughs ] Opportunities …
BROWN: … are two-fold. The biggest opportunity I see is for our families that live within the neighborhood recognizing—not only live within the neighborhood but also within our feeder pattern—recognizing the amazing opportunities that exist here at Eastern.
BROWN: And I believe more families, and then choosing Eastern …
DEUTSCH: And becoming more of a true neighborhood school.
BROWN: And becoming a true neighborhood comprehensive high school. And that I believe—in terms of seeing some of the increased rates in our feeder pattern, elementary schools choosing to enroll—I believe is starting to turn the corner in bringing that interest back. So to me that’s one of the biggest opportunities for Eastern.
DEUTSCH: To become a true neighborhood school.
BROWN: The true neighborhood school. There’s no other option in terms of, you know, where people aren’t considering something else.
DEUTSCH: So next year is the 100th anniversary of this building.
BROWN: Yes it is.
DEUTSCH: And is anything special planned?
BROWN: Yes. So we have a couple of things happening. First, The Story of Our Schools is getting ready to take place. Interviews are happening. So we can have a firsthand account of what took place during the rich history. I mean, I am excited just so I can hear and learn more. [According to its website, The Story of Our Schools is a nonprofit organization that celebrates “the role of schools within our city’s rich history. We facilitate a process of self-discovery for students and local communities by creating permanent, history-based exhibits in D.C. schools.”]
DEUTSCH: And of course Eastern has a particularly interesting history, having been a white school that became a black school that we hope will become a fully integrated school, really reflecting the neighborhood.
BROWN: Right.
DEUTSCH: I interviewed an elderly woman, she’s 89.
BROWN: Okay.
DEUTSCH: … who was telling me, she said, oh, I couldn’t go to Eastern, I couldn’t go to Eliot because they were white schools [Eliot Junior High School, now combined with Hine Middle School as Eliot-Hine Middle School, 1830 Constitution Avenue NE]. I had to go to Browne [Hugh M. Browne Junior High School, now Browne Education Campus, 850 26th Street NE] and then Cardozo [Senior High School, Rhode Island Avenue and 9th Street NW].
BROWN: Wow, wow.
DEUTSCH: So within her lifetime that changed. It’s sort of fascinating …
BROWN: It is fascinating. And I don’t know that much about it, so I am looking forward to these interviews and conversations to hear about that. Because that experience is one that I know would benefit our students to learn about the history of the school, and also as we see just what’s taking shape across the nation around curriculum conversations that I think has people raising some questions around prior laws and things of that nature.
DEUTSCH: Well, and having this project, The Story of our Schools, as a window …
BROWN: Uh hm.
DEUTSCH: … don’t take on the whole thing but how did it happen right here.
BROWN: Right. Exactly. Exactly.
DEUTSCH: And of course you’ve got some prominent alumni, I always forget the name of the young man who was in the sit-in [in 1960 at the Woolworth lunch counter in Greensboro, North Carolina, that launched widespread sit-ins across the South to protest racial segregation in restaurants and stores].
BROWN: Franklin McCain …
DEUTSCH: McCain, I was going to say …
BROWN: Franklin McCain and I’d love to take you up to the atrium, because again Eastern—wanting to experience it all or having the ability to experience it all, that strong component of the arts—so some of our art students created a mural.
DEUTSCH: About him?
BROWN: About him and we have it on display.
DEUTSCH: Oh, I’d love to see it.
BROWN: And it’s an image of him actually from the picture of them sitting at the counter.
DEUTSCH: And of course the counter is down at the Smithsonian [in the National Museum of American History].
BROWN: That’s right.
DEUTSCH: You know, the other—you probably know about this. About the four chaplains? Do you know this story?
DEUTSCH: So, I forget how I learned this. But years ago my niece had given me a book called No Greater Glory, and it was about four military chaplains who were on the Dorchester, which was a ship that was sunk during World War II. And the chaplains all perished but they all performed heroically in the final hours of the Dorchester. One of those chaplains went to Eastern.
BROWN: Okay.
DEUTSCH: And when I first heard this story, I wasn’t really clear in my mind about the history of Eastern, and I thought it would be an African American chaplain. It was the Jewish chaplain who had grown up on Capitol Hill and had gone to Eastern. Found that fascinating.
BROWN: Wow, yeah. There’s so much, and there’s still more to be uncovered.
DEUTSCH: That’s right.
BROWN: I’m really looking forward to this, the Story of Our Schools project, and then just to see what artifacts will be on display and how we’ll position them in the building so that students as they walk the halls and go to class and can see and experience who came before them. I really think that those are important lessons that our children can and need to pick up.
DEUTSCH: And there was talk of getting the building on the National Register [of Historic Places].
DEUTSCH: Is that happening?
BROWN: It’s in motion, it is in motion. Which I believe, if it hasn’t already happened, we are pretty close.
BROWN: Yes, so I think in these times, these anniversaries, it’s always a time to come together, and where individuals just bring resources and align themselves around something special and seeing the different individuals come out and say, oh, I’m with this program, or I’m with this organization and I can help facilitate that or move this along. It’s really, really, really great to see. We also have a documentary being done around the choir.
DEUTSCH: Oh yes.
BROWN: When they performed with—during the Ronald Reagan years.
DEUTSCH: Who is doing the documentary?
BROWN: I don’t know the company’s name or the organization’s name but they’re doing some, they had a recent anniversary and are putting film together on that.
DEUTSCH: Oh wonderful.
BROWN: So that has been a highlight. And we’re also looking to see what we can do for the class of 2020 during this …
DEUTSCH: … which didn’t get a graduation.
BROWN: Which didn’t get an in-person graduation. That historic year, potentially looking to do a time capsule for them, or something that we can bring information from that year together and do a time capsule so that years later, because that was quite a year, that quick shift …
DEUTSCH: That quick shift and no in-person graduation.
BROWN: No in-person graduation. The only class to have a virtual graduation. So, no, we’ve got a few things happening. They’re big projects but … [laughs]
DEUTSCH: Can I ask about your family? You have children, I think.
BROWN: I’ve got children, yes. I’ve got two. My daughter Taylor, who is 13, and my son Chandler, who is 9.
DEUTSCH: Oh, those are nice years.
BROWN: Yeah, yeah.
DEUTSCH: And where are they in school?
BROWN: They’re at Two Rivers [Two Rivers Public Charter School, 1227 Fourth Street NE].
DEUTSCH: Uh huh.
BROWN: They’re at Two Rivers and they’ve been there, oh, I’d probably say since pre-K.
DEUTSCH: So you don’t have to worry about—well, Two Rivers doesn’t go to …
BROWN: It goes to 8th.
DEUTSCH: So pretty soon.
BROWN: Pretty soon.
DEUTSCH: You don’t have to worry about it [laughs].
BROWN: Not yet, not yet.
DEUTSCH: Any chance they’ll come here?
BROWN: It’s a strong chance.
BROWN: It’s a strong chance. You know, I know where I want my daughter to go.
DEUTSCH: [laughs]
BROWN: My wife and I, you know we really think and talk a lot about it because of the …
DEUTSCH: … the optics.
BROWN: Not really the optics. It’s the, it’s the—I just wonder around someone being the principal’s child in school, the subtle pressures that can come with that.
DEUTSCH: Right, that might not be the most comfortable thing for her.
BROWN: Exactly, exactly. So I’m very aware of that.
DEUTSCH: I wasn’t even thinking of that, but of course.
BROWN: I’m very aware of that. But it’s a good sign that she wants to come and she’ll be coming to one of our shadow days here. So, we’re just enjoying it, enjoying it.
DEUTSCH: Yeah, well that’s nice.
BROWN: And then also I have, if there’s any apprehension, it’s mixing business with family. That’s not something that I generally do.
DEUTSCH: For some reason that reminds me of something from my own life which as an athlete you can appreciate. My boys were athletes and played ice hockey. I grew up in a completely unathletic—three sisters, no sports, nothing. And at one point my son complained something about his coach. And I said, I’m going to call the coach and just complain to him, and my husband said to me you are actually not going to call the coach. You don’t do that. Moms do not call the coach. And I think the same thing would apply, like I’m going to just tell that principal …
BROWN: Right, right. Exactly, exactly. I mean, it’s good, it’s enjoyable. They come up here a lot. They’ve grown over the last six years and been here. I mean the images of them from their early childhood to now over the years since I’ve been here, over the last years …
DEUTSCH: To events.
BROWN: Yeah, it’s been great to see. You know, they’re real comfortable here obviously in the building and come around so we’ll see.
DEUTSCH: Do you have any favorite moments from the last six years?
BROWN: Favorite moments. Oh, wow. I would say there’re many.
DEUTSCH: [laughs]
BROWN: There’re many. If I would say my top—there’re so many. I would say one, every graduation is great, but my first graduation here, the first class I graduated, the class of 2017, that was a favorite moment for me. Because to me, as a high school principal, that is the pinnacle of what this role is about, ensuring that you’re preparing students for the demands of graduation and to cross the stage so that they can go out into the world ready.
DEUTSCH: Oh, that’s so, that’s beautiful.
BROWN: That was one memorable moment. And the other memorable moment, boy, I say there’re so many. I think about, I think about one of the walk-to-school events that was had at Lincoln Park.
DEUTSCH: Yeah, yeah.
BROWN: And the reason I liked that event is because obviously it brings the whole community together, and you see families and students and staff and neighborhood members from across the community in one place.
DEUTSCH: Right, right.
BROWN: For the common cause of hey, we’re all going to school, let’s just walk to school. It’s healthy, everybody’s out, it’s an exciting time. There was one year where our marching band performed.
BROWN: And usually, as you know, with any parade, because we do homecoming parades and things, you have to get a permit to go along the streets. On those walk-to-school days, we don’t get a permit, we just walk and we march.
DEUTSCH: You just go.
BROWN: We go. And the band on East Capitol Street, and there’re no restrictions and cars have to stop and everybody can see it. And we were walking back to Eastern with Eliot [Eliot-Hine Middle School] families and they’re walking along right behind the band and cars are stopping and waving, like it really is a good, positive feeling.
DEUTSCH: It’s a real, yeah.
BROWN: So that is a positive, positive moment. And then I’d like to, I always try to find the silver lining in terms of another positive moment. It was a terrible situation when we think of the tragedy that happened down, the school shooting that happened down in Florida.
DEUTSCH: Oh. Stoneman, Marjory Stoneman [Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Parkland, Florida].
BROWN: Yes, and I believe that was 2018. And this is when that, the student body had, across the nation, were raising awareness around gun violence and there was a march [the National School Walkout on April 20, 2018, to protest gun violence]… .
DEUTSCH: There was a march, I remember that.
BROWN: Well, I had students coming that wanted to do something, and it was homegrown. A couple of juniors came to me and they said, well, we want to do a rally here, and they pulled in some teachers and they planned and we did a march-out as a school to our football field. And it was a unifying activity because the whole school came together for a moment of silence, and everybody locked arms around our football field. We released 18 balloons for the individuals that lost their lives, and it was just such a powerful experience where everybody put everything else aside, everything that was going on, and they just stopped.
DEUTSCH: And sort of planned by, I mean it sort of grew from the kids.
BROWN: The students, yes, the kids did it. And that’s the thing that is good to see. When our young people, when their voices feel heard and they can rally their peers in a positive manner and we can support them with what they want to do. And that was a piece that drew national attention because again, this was the day of the march and the protests and everybody was walking down. And because we were doing it here. [Eastern’s participation in the National Walkout was covered in national media.]
DEUTSCH: Oh yeah?
BROWN: It was just …
DEUTSCH: It was powerful.
BROWN: It was powerful. It was powerful for that moment. Like I said, just to put everything else aside with all that was going on, but to show the strength of community and the student body. Yeah, so I would say those are the top three that come to mind.
DEUTSCH: Those are beautiful, those are beautiful. Well, I hope you are going to be around for …
BROWN: [laughs]
DEUTSCH: Oh the one, the other thing I wanted to ask you was …
BROWN: Sure.
DEUTSCH: So you are getting the Capitol Hill Community Achievement Award [from the Capitol Hill Community Foundation], but you are also getting something special which is, you’re getting the Steve Cymrot Spark Award. Did you know that?
DEUTSCH: Now did you have the chance to meet Steve? Did you know Steve?
BROWN: I did not. No, no.
DEUTSCH: Well I wanted to share with you since you’re getting the Spark Award, I knew Steve very well.
BROWN: Yeah.
DEUTSCH: But I have a wonderful memory of, I think it might be the first time I ever had a conversation with him. I was walking on East Capitol, I was walking somewhere and I bumped into him and I said where are you going or what are you doing? Well, he had just been down to Capitol Hill Day School because one of the things he did as an individual was every year he would give a dictionary to an 8th-grader at various schools.
DEUTSCH: I mean this was back before kids looked up words on the internet.
BROWN: Yeah.
DEUTSCH: Back when we had dictionaries. And he had just been to Capitol Hill Day School to present the dictionary and I thought that was just so typical of Steve. He loved—he was very intellectual and interested in things but he also loved sort of simple, direct philanthropy.
BROWN: Um hmm.
DEUTSCH: You know, not giving a million dollars to build a building with your name on it, but taking a dictionary to a school to give to a particular student.
DEUTSCH: And the interesting thing is, you know who the student was? She was Leah Daniels who runs Hill’s Kitchen. Do you ever go?
BROWN: Really? No I haven’t been, but wow. I’ve heard a lot.
DEUTSCH: And I actually, I knew Leah because my son was in her class. But it just, Steve was a wonderful just force for good in the community.
BROWN: Yeah, yeah.
DEUTSCH: So I think the idea to call one of the awards the Steve Cymrot award, the Spark award is …
BROWN: The Spark award. When I heard the name, I said wow that’s powerful.
BROWN: And then, yeah, that’s powerful. When I was informed I was caught off guard and very humbled, very humbled.
DEUTSCH: Well, I’m sorry that because of the pandemic we won’t have the usual big dinner. Because you know usually it’s a wonderful evening …
BROWN: … coming together and eating. Well, it will be wonderful in a different way.
DEUTSCH: I think so. It will be wonderful in a different way.
BROWN: I’m looking forward to it. You know, and one other thing, and I didn’t get a chance to share this but I do want to bring it up in terms of the work that’s been done here over the last six years. When I came, Eastern was an International Baccalaureate school.
BROWN: The strong focus on academics at the 11th and 12th grade through the diplomas program, wanting to make sure we had a strong pipeline of students to participate in the diplomas program but all students having access to challenging, rigorous academics is why over the last five years—this is now your sixth, but over the last five years we started taking steps to earn and become a fully authorized middle years program. And this year, we gained that authorization. So now our 9th- and 10th-graders—and we have the ability to be recognized and call ourselves a middle years IB school—which means all 9th- and 10th-graders are part of the IB curriculum and program.
DEUTSCH: Everyone automatically is part of the IB?
BROWN: Well, in 9th and 10th grade they’re in because we’re authorized, so teachers are using those skills and approaches to learning in their instruction. And it really just ups the level of rigor. It’s not just like a multiple-choice test but it really focuses on critical thinking, helping kids make real-world connections to what they’re learning about. So that’s where we’re going, making sure that that’s happening sooner, not just for a small subset of students but for every student.
DEUTSCH: So the students who come here in 9th grade automatically go into the IB program.
BROWN: Correct. Because we are now an authorized IB middle years program. Now the diplomas program, there was only—students could select which diplomas program courses they want to go in. Now we’re starting to offer more diplomas program courses.
DEUTSCH: So you finish 9th and 10th grade and then you choose a diplomas program.
BROWN: You can choose which courses you want to take, but what we’re doing and through the support of DCPS, we’ve been able to adjust and allow all of our kids to take IB English in their 11th grade instead of English 3. So there are opportunities that exist here that we’re trying to move more students towards those rigorous academics by just the courses that they’re exposed to.
BROWN: And the staff has been phenomenal around that, so when I say experience it all, it’s not just the marching band or the choir or the extracurriculars or the arts, but it really is the strong academics and that’s the opportunity that I see exist with having more families choose Eastern and come here.
DEUTSCH: It’s exciting.
BROWN: It really is exciting, it’s exciting. It’s been great to see the growth and just to be a part of such a supportive community. I do remember that time we went around to … what was it? Books? We went to someone’s house for dinner.
DEUTSCH: The Literary Feast.
BROWN: The Literary Feast. What a great concept.
DEUTSCH: Well, we haven’t been able to do it of course for a couple of years.
BROWN: Of course, I understand
DEUTSCH: But it was fun and I can’t remember what the book was. It was a memoir from someone, it was something to do with the Midwest, I remember.
BROWN: [laughs]
DEUTSCH: But yeah that was fun.
DEUTSCH: And I’ve hosted a couple of Literary Feasts. Well, you have a nice spacious office.
BROWN: Yes, I do.
DEUTSCH: And I’m impressed, being a sort of messy desk person myself. I’m impressed. Neat desk.
BROWN: I try. You know, I know you got a chance to meet Ms. [Saudia] Staten, our director of strategy and logistics, and she really does the operations here and keeps things organized. She keeps me organized. I’m just glad that the desk is staying clear. All right.
DEUTSCH: All right. You’re going to take me to see the … ?
BROWN: Yes, we’re going to walk upstairs and …
DEUTSCH: Just let me just turn this … Sorry I arrived in such a flustered way.
BROWN: You’re ok. So that concludes our …  
DEUTSCH: I guess, unless there’s anything you want … .
BROWN: No I just wanted to definitely highlight the IB program.
DEUTSCH: The IB, that’s important. Let me just look at my questions and see if there’s any... Yep, 100th anniversary … ok.
BROWN: Well, great.