2006 Outstanding Teacher of America
Science Teacher, Tracy High School, Tracy, California
Kirk Brown received his B.A. in Biology from California State University, Stanislaus and his Masters Degree in Education from the University of Pacific. Mr. Brown is one of the few teachers who have achieved National Board Certification. In addition, he is a Science Research Associate and Fellow of the Association of Western Universities at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
Since 1987, Mr. Brown has taught Advanced Biology in the Tracy Joint Unified High School District in Tracy, California and currently serves as the Science Department Chair. He is the Founding Department Chair of Tracy’s AG/Sci Academy and is an Adjunct Professor at San Joaquin Delta Community College.
Mr. Brown has been honored as an outstanding teacher many times during his career. He was selected as the Most Influential Teacher, at M.I.T., UC Santa Barbara, UC San Diego and Stanford University. He was honored by Wal-Mart and Tracy Unified School District as Teacher of the Year and received the Milliken National Educator Award.
Mr. Brown was nominated for the Carlston Family Foundation Outstanding Teacher of America Award by numerous students. Most notably was Miss California, Rita Ng, whose brothers were also taught by Mr. Brown and who encouraged her to take his classes. When she graduated from Tracy High School, she went directly to Stanford University. Following her graduation from Stanford she entered and won the Miss California Pageant. She interrupted her education for one year to attend to her duties as Ms. California. After giving up her Miss California crown, Rita moved on to Medical School and says, “I went to Stanford and am in medicine and science because of Mr. Brown. When I was studying for my boards I used his notes from high school to help me pass….I have had the opportunity to be taught by Nobel Laureates and world class physicians and researchers, but I don’t think any of them could top Mr. Brown.”
Many current and former students attribute their success and interest in continuing their education in science, mathematics and medicine directly to Mr. Brown. His invigorating and interesting lectures captivate his students. Fellow teachers say they are “in awe” of his ability to motivate and educate students and are impressed by how well prepared his students are for college and university work.
Mr. Brown maintains high standards for his students and tells his students they can be more than they believe. He helps them reach their goals and dreams. Marcelino Pantoja, a 2001 graduate of Tracy High School, credits Mr. Brown for keeping him in school his senior year and for helping him apply to several Ivy League Schools and Stanford, when other teachers didn’t think he should be trying for those schools. Marcelino said, “If it wasn’t for Mr. Brown’s help and guidance I would not have graduated from high school and been able to go to Yale….He guided and mentored me so I was able to successfully complete my senior year…He was the only teacher to believe in me and to actually help me to apply to the Ivy League Schools…Mr. Brown went above and beyond what he had to do to in supporting my decision to apply to difficult schools…He is truly amazing and, if it wasn’t for his preparation and support, I would not have survived at Yale….Thanks to him, I have a great future.”