ETHS science teacher Eric Brown recognized by White House, President Biden


Image courtesy of Eric Brown

On Aug. 27, biology teacher Eric Brown was recognized by President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden for his commitment to both his students and equity initiatives in the school. 

Brown is a member of the National Education Association (NEA) Executive Committee. The committee is comprised of nine members, all of whom oversee the rest of the association, which is made up of approximately three million members. 

“I have been a member of the National Education Association since I started teaching here in 1999,” biology teacher Eric Brown said. “Through my leadership, I have been really focused on growing and developing leaders within the union, while also ensuring that we are advocates for racial and social justice.” 

Brown was recently recognized for his specific role on this committee, which includes advising educators around the country on how best to provide public education to all students. In addition to this work, Brown helped direct educators and policymakers in navigating nationwide safe school reopenings throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“We built a framework, and it became guidance, on how to reopen schools, but more importantly, how to learn throughout this pandemic,” Brown explained. “We were able to provide this to the Department of Education so that they had some guidance that would help implement what President Biden said was going to be a part of his first 100 days in office.” 

While Brown helped district administrators and educators on a national scale, he also made sure to implement these same ideas in his classroom and in ETHS at-large. He paid specific attention to his students of color and LGBTQ+ students, ensuring that they feel safe and supported in the ETHS community. 

“It’s not just our students who are dealing with this pandemic. It’s our students’ families who are dealing with this pandemic. So we cannot come back and pretend that everything’s normal,” Brown said. “We really have to build into our instructional day the ability to acknowledge that we’re all in different spaces.” 

Brown attended the NEA’s Representative Assembly in July, which is where he met President Biden and the First Lady. This event was an opportunity for educators and members of the association to discuss the upcoming school year. 

A few weeks later, Brown received a letter from President Biden and the White House thanking him for his outstanding leadership and commitment to students all across the country. Brown shared this letter with his students throughout the first week of school. 

“That was the part I was really touched by – that he recognized the work that I’ve done here but also the work that we as a school and community have been doing,” Brown said.