For Nicholas G. Brown, the Superintendent of Merrillville Community School Corporation, shaping students to be the best and brightest is his greatest achievement. He strives to improve Merrillville and to make it the best community it can be.
Brown grew up in several different places throughout his life. His parents are English and lived in England during World War II. They moved to Nigeria to start a new life together, and that is where Brown and his sibling were born. As a family, they immigrated to the U.S. and eventually settled down in Indianapolis, Indiana.
At the age of 14, Brown attended Ben Davis High School. It was then that he decided that Indiana was his true home and he was a Hoosier at heart.
“I went to high school, college, and got married here. I count Indiana as my home and I've enjoyed it quite a bit,” Brown said.
Brown graduated from high school in 1981 and went to Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) to get a degree in business as well as his teaching certificate. While Brown enjoyed being an educator, he felt that he could do more. He returned to school and went to Butler University to get a master’s degree in administration and a principal's license. He continued his education and went to Indiana University to get his Ed.S. and superintendent license.
What motivated Brown to his career path was his parents. They instilled a love of education and reading in him when he was a child and encouraged him to always look at the bigger picture.
"My parents had a global perspective and knew how we're all connected as a community," Brown said.
It was then that Brown decided to try his best to help strengthen the community through education.
"I loved being a teacher but felt that I could do more to help kids, and that made me interested in becoming an elementary principal," Brown said. "I then thought, ‘boy I'd really like to help the whole district.’ And the best way to do that is in the seat of a superintendent where you get to work with everybody and see all levels."
Now, as the new Superintendent of Merrillville Community School Corporation he believes he has the best job in the world. He helps the students realize their full potential and inspires them to make their dreams a reality.
"It's just rewarding to help others achieve their goals," Brown said. "It's my job to provide them with all of the opportunities they have to become successful in what they love to do."
Many times students don't achieve what they want in life because they don't understand all the options they have. Brown takes pride in giving guidance to students who need direction in their lives. "I want the kids to enjoy the school process so they'll be more successful, and their kids will be more successful," Brown added. "It's kind of a paying it forward in a way."
Brown has made it his mission to encourage creativity, innovation, problem solving and collaboration among the students. He wants the kids to understand that you can be who you are and become successful doing what you love.