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Celebrating the History of Smyrna's Brown Elementary

After being a part of the Smyrna community for more than 50 years, the school is closing its doors.

Smyrna community members will be celebrating and remembering the history of Brown Elementary School this weekend with an event open to the public.

Local residents, students, teachers and alumni are invited to attend the reception from 2 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, March 3, at the school located at 3265 Brown Road.

Brown, a Title I Distinguished School, was established in Smyrna in 1955. The 2012-13 school year is the building's last as Brown Elementary before its students join their peers from Belmont Hills and Argyle elementary schools at the new Smyrna Elementary School. 

After closing its doors, Brown will then become the new home to H.A.V.E.N. Fitzhugh Lee Academy, which is currently located in south Smyrna. 

Honoring Brown's rich history in the Smyrna community, the Sunday celebration will include music, refreshments and an array of photographic memories. All past and present staff, students, parents, and community members are welcomed.

"We are sad to see it close, but are excited of the new possibilities of a new school and what this will mean for our community," said Smyrna resident Michelle Murphy. 

If you would like to contribute any pictures or items to be displayed at the event, please contact Michelle Murphy at m4mcmurphy@gmail.com. You can also RSVP by visiting this Facebook page created by the Brown Elementary School PTA.

What will you remember about Brown Elementary School? Are you a parent or an alum with special memories to share? Tell us in the comments!

30080 February 28, 2013 at 02:17 PM
It's unfortunate that there was not a neighborhood group capable of coming out in support of keeping Brown Elementary open. The best neighborhoods in metro Atlanta have high performing elementary schools that the children walk and bike to and the parents are active in. Closing Brown (and opening it as a behavioral problems school) will have a lasting negative effect on the struggling Smyrna Heights neighborhood. Sending the children to a foreboding fortress miles away could have a lasting negative effect on them.
Lissa M. February 28, 2013 at 02:36 PM
Were you aware that the plan is to prohibit the popular AR (Accelerated Reading) program at the new elementary school? I hope that someone addresses this!
Ann Lee February 28, 2013 at 09:54 PM
As a real estate agent in the immediate area several years ago, I worked with a couple who were hesitant to purchase in Brown Elementary area. I suggested they visit the school and classrooms; then make their decision. They did so and were pleasantly surprised at the individual attention each child received. Needless to say, they did buy a home in Brown District, with no regrets
Alisa Simms March 01, 2013 at 06:31 PM
Brown Elementary is an amazing school! The administration, teachers, and staff are truly incredible people and we would like to thank them for their hard work! We can't wait to celebrate Brown on Sunday!! My favorite memories are my girls' first day of school in Kindergarten and First Grade. They were so excited and so were we! I will also remember the outdoor Family Movie Night! It was so much fun to get everyone together. Our family will definitely miss Brown Elementary but we are equally excited for our new Smyrna Elementary!
Michelle March 02, 2013 at 02:34 AM
Our favorite memories of Brown are still happening.....as we have enjoyed every moment since our child started kindergarten there last year and we intend to enjoy every moment we will have until the last day of school when the tears will flow, the hugs will be tight and we will close the door of one chapter and begin a new one at our new school with the same amazing and dedicated people that have been a part of Brown. We are in this together and we could not be more proud of the staff and families that have made Brown everything it is today and everything the new school will be tomorrow...... Thank you for two wonderful years of learning and growing and creating memories of a lifetime.
Open Your Eyes March 02, 2013 at 02:50 AM
I did not go to Brown but my child does now. And its a wonderful school. Thankfully the entire staff is moving to the new school and staying mostly in tact. So you could say that the new school should have the same great staff and great teachers with a brand new amazing LEED rated school building. The new school has an amazing city park next door with soccer fields and other play areas just for the elementary school. Also a nature trail, wooded learning area and I heard through the grape vine a learning garden to boot. We are so excited to go to the new school.
KMW March 02, 2013 at 12:48 PM
Looking forward to the Brown Celebration this Sunday! What a special day to meet past alumnae, share memories, and enjoy time together! Brown Elementary has been very special to our family these last two years. Not sure I can narrow down to just one favorite memory!!! I can't believe how lucky we are to have this same group of teachers, staff, parents, and amazing children start a whole new chapter together!! I have no doubt that with our communities support, we can continue to carry on all the wonderful traditions of Brown Elementary to our new Smyrna Elementary!
OWN March 02, 2013 at 01:16 PM
I first started teaching at Brown 20 years ago. I was amazed at how at home I felt. The parents, community and the entire staff works together for the best of each student. I am honored to be a part of the history and excited to start the next chapter at Smyrna Elementary School!
30080 March 02, 2013 at 02:01 PM
If you loved Brown so much and it's the greatest school why didn't you fight to keep it open. You have to understand what happens to a neighborhood with a closed elementary school that turns into a behavioral school. Just look at the Hawthorne Rd/5 Points area.
Open Your Eyes March 02, 2013 at 02:51 PM
hey 30080 we don't need your negativity, the word is out and everyone is excited about the new school, the old Brown was great but financially does not make sense for the school district. The new school is still smack in the middle and just as walkable as Brown was all be it for the people on the other side of Browns district this time. Have you been to the 5 pts area lately? There is a brand new private grocer and they are tearing down the old problem apartments a block down the road! Smyrna is bouncing back!
libby mazur March 02, 2013 at 02:51 PM
Obviously, you have not been keeping up with the Brown Elementary community. There were 3 years of efforts to keep Brown open by neighborhood groups, families, and staff. The bottom line is always the bottom line - a very small school is not financially efficient for the school board's increasingly limited resources. Although it is unfortunate to lose Brown, I am as equally excited that our school board has chosen to improve the learning environment for children with severe emotional disorders by renovating The Brown building to accommodate their special needs. I am proud to have a school in my neighborhood that meets the needs of children and families challenged with psychiatric disorders.
Kristi Seagraves March 02, 2013 at 03:24 PM
My three boys all went thru Brown and it truly is a gem of a school. As for moving to the new location? I think it is great! A new building will not diminish the wonderful job the staff does for the kids...it will only enhance it. The folks who currently have kids there are very excited and that is all that matters! When my boys were little there were very few kids in my neigborhood...now Brown is what draws young families in! The staff will make sure it continues to be a success! I posted pictures of my boys from way back then...they are all very successful now, thanks in part to the good foundation they received at Brown!
Jessica Jones March 02, 2013 at 04:04 PM
I am not a member of the Brown Elementary community but as a parent and active member of my school I know that it is not a building or location that makes a great school it is the students and teachers!
jeremy March 02, 2013 at 10:02 PM
Brown is fantastic and as a parent of 2 students there I am sad it's closing. We did try to keep it but it just wasnt in the cards That said, we are excited about the opportunity to start a new school where the wonderful new facility excites the students and faculty. The staff of brown moving over makes it even greater!! A building doesn't make a great school. Parents and teachers and administration and community involvement are what will make the new elementary school succeed !! No need to have negativity, just embrace change and do what YOU can to make it better.
Cindy March 03, 2013 at 04:48 PM
We have plenty of time to debate AR, politics, what will become of the neighborhood and whether we all did everything we could to keep Brown open (which we did by the way). Today is about celebrating 57 years of a little known gem in Smyrna. I have been cafeteria manager there for 7 years, and I can honestly say I have never had a bad day at work. We are a family, and I have no doubt that we will carry that over to the new Smyrna Elementary School. The spirit of Brown is in the hearts of the students, parents and faculty, That is not going to disappear. Please allow us a day of celebration without negativity. Our Brown Family deserves that.
Michelle March 04, 2013 at 02:30 PM
What an AMAZING time had by all that attended yesterday's celebration at Brown!!! We estimated over 300 hundred people attended this event and many came from near and far to share a smile, a laugh and a great memory with old and new friends. It was such a joy to see so many happy people, but more importantly it was wonderful to see a community come together and enjoy a Sunday afternoon celebrating a little piece of what makes Smyrna great!! There are so many people to thank, but we really appreciate the following donors who made this event possible: A Piece of Cake, Atkins Park, Chick-fil-A, Floral Creations, Brown PTA, John Bassett, Paul Carson, Members of the Campbell High School Orchestra, Soloist - Deeshia Carson Partin, Members of the Brown Student Council, Rev Coffee, and ALL of the families, students and staff at Brown Elementary. Yesterday's event could not have been possible without each of you. Thank you to everyone that made 57 years of educating the children in this community a possibility and a great success!!!
Chloe M. May 01, 2013 at 09:33 PM
I loved Brown Elementary more than any other school I have ever been to. Unlike all if you other people, I am a student who went for a wonderful 4 years at Brown. Now as I am nearing 7th grade, I still miss this amazing school. I couldn't do much when we, the students, found out that it was closing. But trust me we tried. My friend since second grade and I were devising a plan to actually have a flash mob with all of the fifth graders showing how much we care. Of course this didn't happen, but we still talk about how amazing that school was and how we wish we never had to leave! I will probably be seeing this school for the last time when I go and visit to inform the current fifth graders about my middle school. It makes me so sad that this amazing school has to go.

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