By 479th Field Artillery Brigade
Division West, Public Affairs
COPPERAS COVE, Texas — Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8577 named William Brown its 2012 K-5 Teacher of the Year in a Dec. 21 ceremony at Fairview/Miss Jewell Elementary School here.
Brown, who has taught fifth grade social studies at the school for four years, is also an Army Reserve captain and commander of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2-381st Training Support Battalion, 479th Field Artillery Brigade, Division West.
“I have the privilege of being trusted with America's most precious assets: its Soldiers and future leaders,” Brown said. “There is no greater honor than having the opportunity to serve in the armed forces and, at the same time, teach and inspire our communities' children on a daily basis, the same way that the teachers of Copperas Cove ISD did for me.”
Brown was nominated and selected for the VFW award for his enthusiastic teaching style and ability to empower the nation's future leaders in the areas of patriotism and civic responsibility. In addition to teaching and serving in the 479th Field Artillery Brigade, he runs various after-school programs at Fairview/Miss Jewel and assists with a tutoring program at his church.
"I am impressed by Will's ability to accomplish so much with no more time in the day than any of the rest of us,” said Lt. Col. Scott Ward, commander of 2-381st Training Support Battalion. “Whether as our HHC commander or fifth grade teacher, he enthusiastically inspires patriotic and leadership values for his soldiers and students. Will is truly ‘twice the citizen.’”
Some of Brown’s accomplishments that earned him the VFW’s “Teacher of the Year” award are coordinating a “Social Studies Alive Night” during which approximately 600 children and parents participated in a family night geared toward the education of history, economics, politics and civic responsibility; and completing the Bataan Memorial Death March in the “Military Heavy” category, then creating a presentation from the experience to teach students the importance of honoring America’s veterans.
Brown is now in the running for the prestigious Smart/Maher VFW National Citizenship Education Teacher Award, which recognizes classroom teachers for promoting citizenship education.
Prior to joining the military, Brown served as an AmeriCorps volunteer and Armed Services YMCA Teen Center Assistant Director. He is also a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom who served as a platoon leader and personnel officer in the 1st Cavalry Division.