Kristen Brown, at center, accepts her $500 prize check as “Teacher of the Year” at Liberty Middle School from Eric Terrell, from left, Assistant Superintendent of Madison City Schools; MCS Superintendent Dr. Ed Nichols; Liberty Principal Shannon Brown; and Liberty Assistant Principal Dr. Ambra Hamilton. CONTRIBUTED

Kristen Brown, Liberty’s top teacher, respects open dialogue

MADISON – Kristen Brown sets clear expectations and maintains classroom discipline yet promotes a low-pressure atmosphere so students feel comfortable expressing their ideas. Brown is “Teacher of the Year” at Liberty Middle School.

Brown began her career as an educator at Monrovia Middle School with Madison County Schools. For four years, she taught seventh-grade science.

“For the past four years, I’ve had the privilege to be a part of Madison City Schools teaching at Liberty. I have the pleasure of teaching seventh-grade life science, introducing students to the fascinating world of biology,” Brown said.

She also teaches seventh- and eighth-grade science electives, “which cover fascinating topics and provide students with a broader understanding of scientific concepts,” she said.

“My teaching philosophy revolves around creating a positive and inclusive learning environment where trust, safety and respect are fundamental. I believe in setting high standards and expectations for all students, both academically and behaviorally,” Brown said.

She provides a structured classroom setting while allowing flexibility for individual needs and learning styles. “I strive for active engagement, critical thinking and open dialogue among students,” Campbell said.

Brown takes pride in a pilot program, ACES, she launched for short-term academic support to struggling students. “Students regain momentum in their studies and develop effective strategies for assignment management,” she said.

Students work in lengthy ACES sessions so Campbell arranged for snacks and free dinner, eliminating parents’ financial burden. “ACES has evolved into a fully-funded initiative, thanks to support of school staff and generous contributions from community members, organizations and businesses,” Brown said.

Brown grew up in Curry, a hamlet near Smith Lake. Her Licensed Practical Nursing Certification from Bevill State Community College unknowingly led to her focus on science and education.

“Building upon this foundation, I (attended) Jacksonville State University where I received my bachelor’s degree in science and discovered my love for research,” Brown said. “Motivated by passion for science and a leap of faith, I furthered my academic pursuits and obtained a master’s degree in secondary science from Alabama A&M University.”

Kristen’s “incredibly loving and supporting husband,” Dawson Brown, works as an accountant. The Browns have five children: Allie, Dawson Jr., Caden, Tom and Kate Brown.

Allie is majoring in mechanical engineering with a minor in mathematics at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. Dawson, Caden and Tom attend Midtown Elementary School; Kate attends Rainbow Elementary School.

A plant enthusiast, Kristen loves indoor gardening. “Most people don’t know I’m an avid Candy Crush player and currently on level 5238 . . . I’ve played it for a really long time,” she said.

“I’m passionate about serving underserved students and vulnerable populations,” Brown said. She has been developing a Language Morphology program to improve scientific literacy for all students. Brown’s program enhances vocabulary and comprehension to better engage scientific concepts.

“For some students and their families, life happens out of nowhere; they hit a rough patch. The positive impact on students and their families for having short-term academic support during these times is incredulous,” Brown said.

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