Meet Andrew Brown, principal of Central High School, and loving father of two boys. For him, home is Family, Comfort and Relaxing. An amazing person who has always enjoyed working with young people. When I talked with him on the phone to set up the interview he told me he had a “radio face.”
Q: What inspired you or led you to your current career?
A: “I always enjoyed working with young people. I enjoyed my work as a teacher and coach, developing young people and teaching leadership. When I had the opportunity to move into a leadership role and move into a leadership role and move to the next level working with teachers. It is a greater influence you have rather than the number of kids coming into your classroom or participate on your sport’s team. You have now the entire school where you can determine the people who get that impact which casts a wider net of influence.”
Q: What is your favorite restaurant in Knoxville, and what do you love there?
A: “There are so many but the first one comes to mind is Litton’s which is pretty famous. My favorite thing there, although they’re known for their hamburgers which are amazing. My favorite thing is the lunch special on Tuesday which is fried chicken, biscuits and gravy. Any restaurant you go to which offers banana pudding as a side item, you can’t go wrong.”
Q: How long have you lived or worked in Knoxville?
A: “I was born in Memphis. My family moved here when I was two. So I lived here from the time I was two until our first son was born. That was about twenty-six years. Then we moved back to the town my wife was from, Kingsport, and lived there for twelve years. We’ve been back for the last three years. In total, almost thirty years in Knoxville.”
Q: Who is the most interesting person you’ve met here in Knoxville?
A: “I’ve had the opportunity to meet a lot of great people. Mayor Jacobs, from being a former professional wrestler and now being in politics and owning his own business, just a super guy. He’s been so supportive of Education and worked with me in my previous school and is coming to talk to our senior class in a few weeks. So he’s very invested in our community. He’s just a neat guy.”
Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would it be? And why?
A:” One place that I wanted to go that I’ve never been is Alaska. I think the raw wilderness is amazing, that untouched beauty. There are so many things Alaska has which nobody else has.“
Q: What is your favorite movie OR what is the first movie you remember seeing in a theater?
A: “I love movies. It’s hard to pick just one….but the first movie I remember seeing in a theater was E.T. I remember my parents taking me to that as a kid. I remember also seeing a lot of Star Wars growing up. Anything with action, Gladiator, Braveheart, The patriot. I like movies with historical reference. I like action.”
Q: What advice would you give a crowd of people?
A:” Probably simple. Just be kind to each other. I see so much anger and hatred and division in the world today. The world would be a better place if we showed more love and just be kind to one another. “
Q: What is something on your bucket list?
A:” I would love to go out west and see some of the geographical features that we have in the United States, the Grand Canyon, Yosemite and the Great Redwoods. My wife and I have talked about taking a trip out west and traveling from one place to another. I’d love to do that some day.”
Q: What is your favorite music/ 3 bands you would like to see (dead or alive)?
A:” I love all music. My favorite band is Dave Matthews Band. I love their ability and talent. I’ve seen them in concerts multiple times. Another musician I think is amazing is Stevie Wonder. He is so talented, musically and vocally, producing, and all of the things he can do. I look at all of the influence he’s had on other people. I’d love to see him, “live.” If I had a third one, seeing someone who revolutionized the world of rock and roll. I’d love to see Jimi Hendrix playing the guitar because he’s amazing.”
Q: What current/former local business makes you the most nostalgic about Knoxville?
A:” You go downtown and see a lot of old buildings that have been revamped and turned into new things. But when I think about restaurants or businesses that have been here for literally generations, I think of one down the road here, Pratt’s market, a family-owned business. They’re on their third or fourth generation of Pratts. Great people, their kids go to school here.”
Q: Choosing anyone in a non-relative with whom would you love to have lunch? And where would you have lunch?
A:” The person who came to mind is David Letterman, not just because he’s funny but the experiences that he had. He’s a unique person. “
Q: What is your favorite thing or something unique about Knoxville?
A:” The first thing that stands out for any body who drives through Knoxville is the Sunsphere that’s the relic that’s left over from the 1982 world’s fair. I remember living here as a child and going to the world’s fair with my parents. That’s pretty iconic. If you draw the Knoxville skyline, the Sunsphere is going to be right there in the middle of it.”
Q: Where do you see yourself in 5 or 10 years?
A:” This is my first year here at Central. I hope I’m still here. I have a son here whose a freshman so hoping I can stay with him. When he becomes a senior, my younger son will be freshman. Chronologically, I could have a child here for the next 7 years. So if I’m here for 5 to 10 years, that’s totally fine with me.”
Q: (Even for friends or family), what is something interesting that most people don’t know about you?
A:” I have a problem…… singing in the car. My family knows it. My wife makes a joke. I say, four hour road trip. You say, four hour personal concert starring me. I do sing in the car quite a bit. They’re trapped. I have a captive audience. My boys have gotten to the point they put their little ear buds in and listen to their music or watch a movie in my wife’s car. Then they don’t have to listen to dad sing.“
Q: What 3 words or phrases come to mind when you think of the word HOME?
A:” The first one’s family. When I think of home I think of family. Comfort, home is a place where you can be comfortable, be yourself and not have to worry about other people’s perception of you. The third word would be Relaxing. That all goes together. When you’re at home you can relax and unwind, be with your family or friends. “
Q: If you had a full time staff member that was fully paid for, who would you choose? Chef, Housekeeper, Driver, Coach, Physical Fitness Trainer, or Nanny?
A:” The Chef because I love to eat. Right now, in our lives, we have two boys. They’re busy in middle school and high school. My wife and I are constantly on the go. I’m taking one one place. She’s taking the other some place. The thing that we struggle with is being able to sit down and have a meal. She tries really hard to do that. But because of scheduling we are not at home when dinner time comes. Having somebody to cook a meal and just have it there for you would be really nice.”
Q: If you were cast into a major motion picture and had your choice of anyone to be your co-star, who would you choose?
A:” The rock. I’d love to meet him. He seems to be a good guy. He’s funny and very talented. If the Rock is too busy then Morgan Freeman. To me he’s iconic. I can sit and let Morgan Freeman talk all day long.”
Q: Who would you like to see nominated for this project, The Faces of Knoxville?
There are lots of people I think are very interesting. Bob Thomas, the superintendent would be a good person. People would be interested to know a lot more about him.
Andrew~Thank you so much for sitting down and sharing your story with The Faces of Knoxville! Blessings~Bridget