Luvelle Brown is the 2017 New York State Superintendent of the Year. He has served as Superintendent of the Ithaca City School District (ICSD) in Ithaca, New York since January 2011. Prior to arriving in Ithaca, Dr. Brown had experiences as a teacher, assistant principal, principal, school CIO, and district-level leader in Virginia. During his tenure in Ithaca, the Ithaca City School District has experienced unprecedented levels of success. The ICSD graduation rate has skyrocketed from 78% to above 94% while students are reaching unprecedented levels of performance including an 8% increase in enrollment and diversity in higher-level courses, an 8% increase in attendance, a 53% increase in enrollment inco-curricular programs, a 6% increase in number of students reading on-grade level k-5, a 63% reduction in discipline referrals, and a reduction of the district’s Special Education classification rate from significantly above state average (14.8%) to significantly below (11.6%). Specific school achievements include Northeast Elementary being named a National Blue Ribbon School, and 2 elementary schools have been recognized as a New York State Reward School. Also, Ithaca High School has moved from being on the New York State School in Need of Improvement (SINI) list to being recently recognized with GOLD distinction by Newsweek placing in the top 2% of schools in the United States.
Early in his tenure, Dr. Brown facilitated a community wide strategic planning process that resulted in a new vision and mission. Conversations in homes, community centers, places of worship and other local settings informed the vision of "6000+ Thinkers" and mission to "Engage. Educate. Empower." The newly informed vision and mission has led to district-wide initiatives based on systems thinking including: integrating thinking skills into every classroom, shifting the organizational design towards a systemic approach, redesign of learning spaces, and numerous technology initiatives such as systems-based visual mapping, game-based learning, innovative uses of social media, and 1:1 mobile device implementation.
The state and national recognitions for the ICSD and Dr. Brown have highlighted one of the best educational stories in the USA. Recently, Ithaca High School was placed on the AP Honor Roll by the College Board for increasing the number of students enrolled, increasing diversity, and increasing achievement on AP tests. Another recognition for the school district includes being named by the National Association of Music Merchants Foundation as one of the nation's Best Communities for Music Education. Remarkable quantitative and qualitative achievement results have attracted visitors from around the globe. The ICSD has hosted national conferences and site visits for school board members, superintendents, administrators, and teachers from 3 different continents, 37 different states, and numerous school districts throughout New York State.
Along with school district recognition, Dr. Brown has received various awards and recognitions as well. In addition to being selected as the 2017 New York State's Superintendent of the Year, Dr. Brown was recognized by the National School Boards Association as a “20-to-Watch, received the Center for Digital Education Top 30 Award, and received the 2014 eSchool News Tech-Savvy Superintendent Award. He was selected by the US Department of Education as one of the nation's top 100 innovative Superintendents. Along with that distinction, Dr. Brown was invited to be a featured speaker at President Barack Obama’s 1st National Superintendent Summit at the White House. Additionally, Dr. Brown serves on the New York State Council of School Superintendents (NYSCOSS) Executive Committee, The School Superintendents Association (AASA) Digital Consortium, The Center for Digital Education Advisory Council, and CoSN’s Empowered Superintendent Advisory Panel.
Dr. Brown is an an active community member through service on various non-profit boards. He is a proud member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, inc., and was the co-founder for the nationally recognized 100 Black Men of Central Virginia.
Dr. Brown is a highly regarded speaker addressing a range of topics for local, regional, and national audiences. He has published numerous articles and is the co-author of ThinkTweets: 100 Transformative Tweets for Educators.