Memphis/ Community & Society
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Published on May 22, 2024
West Memphis School District Mourns the Sudden Death of Superintendent Dr. Terrence A. BrownSource: Google Street View

The West Memphis community is mourning the sudden loss of a key figure in education after the untimely death of Superintendent Dr. Terrence A. Brown. According to Action News 5, Dr. Brown passed away yesterday morning from a medical emergency, just less than a year into his tenure with the West Memphis School District.

Dr. Brown, who returned to his hometown last year to assume leadership of the district, was remembered as an extraordinary leader and a dedicated advocate for both the students and the city of West Memphis, Mayor Marco McLendon said, the somber mood palpable across the 23,000-strong community. In lieu of the regular school board meeting, a vigil took place Tuesday night at the Academies of West Memphis to celebrate his life and impact. “This is a tragic loss,” Mayor McLendon told attendees, " because we had a great educator who had a vision for our city and to move our city forward.”

Previously serving as Deputy Superintendent for the Forrest City School District, Dr. Brown's vision was cut short when he died unexpectedly, plunging the city into grief. Despite the loss, city and school officials stress the importance of continuing the work Dr. Brown began. School Board President Dr. Kimberly Wolfe highlighted a five-year strategic plan as part of his legacy that aims to ensure student and district success. "Although he’s not physically here with us, he left a strong legacy," Dr. Wolfe said in a FOX13 interview.

Respect for Dr. Brown's dedication to education, especially in career and technical education, was echoed by Dr. Wolfe, who stated that the district has grown tremendously under his guidance. A culture of change that he cultivated after taking over has positioned the school district for future success, even in mourning its loss. "Any great leader who has a team who strong enough to function in their absence and out of their access," Wolfe stated, as reported by FOX13.

As the community reflects on Dr. Brown's life, his cause of death remained undisclosed to the public. The West Memphis School District, in a press release obtained by WREG, described Brown as a visionary and expressed their deep sense of loss while requesting privacy for the family during this trying time. The scheduled school board meeting has been postponed to Wednesday, where the discussion of what comes next for the district is expected to take place.