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Superintendent's Office

Dr. Luvelle Brown, SuperintendentSuperintendent
Dr. Luvelle Brown
(607) 274-6845

Assistant to the Superintendent
Emilee Tracy-Arm
(607) 274-6845


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 ICSD has experienced significant levels of success. The 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 in co-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 two other elementary schools being recognized as New York State Reward Schools. 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, redesigning 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 three 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. TrustED lists the 2017 New York State Superintendent of the Year as one of the nation's top educators and thought leaders. Dr. Brown has been recognized by the National School Boards Association as a “20-to-Watch" and "Difference Maker," 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 first National Superintendent Summit at the White House. Additionally, Dr. Brown serves on the New York State Council of School Superintendents (NYSCOSS) Executive Committee, the Leadership for Educational achievement Foundation Board of Directors, 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 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 books including the recently released Culture of Love: Cultivating a Positive and Transformational Organizational Culture. Dr. Brown is also the co-author of ThinkTweets: 100 Transformative Tweets for Educators.


Luvelle's books

Love Works: Seven Timeless Principles for Effective Leaders
Steve Jobs
The Answer Is in the Room: How Effective Schools Scale Up Student Success
21st Century Skills: Learning for Life in Our Times
Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us
Lift: Becoming a Positive Force in Any Situation
Teaching the Digital Generation: No More Cookie-Cutter High Schools
Detracking for Excellence and Equity
Classroom Instruction That Works: Research-Based Strategies for Increasing Student Achievement
Radical Equations: Civil Rights from Mississippi to the Algebra Project
How Full Is Your Bucket?
Handbook for Boys
Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap... and Others Don't
Every Child, Every Day: A Digital Conversion Model for Student Achievement
Most Likely to Succeed: Preparing Our Kids for the Innovation Era
Good Leaders Ask Great Questions: Your Foundation for Successful Leadership
Grit to Great: How Perseverance, Passion, and Pluck Take You from Ordinary to Extraordinary
How Great Leaders Think: The Art of Reframing
Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age

Luvelle Brown's favorite books »
Brown Listed as One of Nation’s Top Educators and Thought Leaders
Ithaca City School District Superintendent Dr. Luvelle Brown has been named to the 2017 TrustED 20. The list is compiled of the 20 “top education thought leaders to consider following,” and is divided into four categories: veterans, advocates, educators, and voices.
Dr. Brown, listed as a top educator, was recognized for his work in fostering communication and developing trust between students, staff, families, and the community. Click here to view more.

Brown Named 2017 NYS School Superintendent of the Year
Congratulations to Dr. Luvelle C. Brown of the Ithaca City School District for being selected as the 2017 New York State School Superintendent of the Year. Council Executive Director Dr. Charles Dedrick said, “Luvelle is truly deserving of this recognition for his leadership at the state and national levels, his effective and creative use of technology in education, and for his passion and dedication to the students within the Ithaca City School District. In fact, Luvelle was the first person who introduced me to the importance of social media in education and was one of the reasons why I joined Twitter when I was a District Superintendent.” Dr. Brown said, “I am overjoyed. This special recognition is a tribute to the exceptional efforts and accomplishments of the entire Ithaca City School District community.” Click here to view more.

Brown Named One of Nation's Top Technologists, Transformers & Trailblazers
Superintendent Luvelle Brown is named as one of the Top 30 Technologists, Transformers, and Trailblazers by The Center for Digital Education. Superintendent Brown is among 30 education and technology leaders honored with this distinction across the United States who are transforming the education landscape. Superintendent Brown and the other winners were selected based on their efforts to improve education; their impact on student outcomes; and their overall initiative, creativity, and leadership skills. “I am proud of the work we have done,” said Dr. Brown.  “I’m dedicated to the innovation and systemic transformations needed to meet the needs of our community’s learners.  It feels good to be recognized for those efforts.” Click here to view Superintendent Brown’s feature by the Center for Digital Education.

Luvelle Brown: Engaged in the Transformative
One wonders how Ithaca managed to lure a star athlete, self-made super student, renowned school administrator to take over the Ithaca City School District. By 8 a.m. each morning Luvelle Brown has fielded calls from anxious parents, snowed in principals, and harried janitorial staff as the snow drifts gracefully outside his window for the third month in a row. “Beautiful. My time in Ithaca has been a beautiful experience,” he said. “I’m learning so much about this cold climate, meeting amazing people. It’s like a 3 1/2 year vacation. I’ve grown as a person, as a professional.”  Click here to view more.

NSBA Names Brown One of Nation's 20 Educators to Watch
Superintendent Luvelle Brown has been selected as one of the National School Boards Association’s “20 to Watch” educators for the 2013-2014 school year. The award recognizes educators across the country for their ability to inspire colleagues to incorporate innovative technology solutions that contribute to high-quality learning environments and more efficient school district operations. Dr. Brown is the only educator in New York State to receive this year’s award. He was recently recognized by eSchool news as one of the nation’s top tech-savvy superintendents and this is the second national award Dr. Brown has received this year.

Brown Named Among Nation’s Top “Tech Savvy” Educators
Superintendent Luvelle Brown has been named one of the nation’s most “tech savvy” school superintendents by eSchool News, a leading publication for educators. One of eight winners, Dr. Brown was selected for his outstanding leadership and vision in using technology to advance the educational goals of the Ithaca City School District. “Dr. Brown has taken this district to a much different place than it was just a few short years ago,” said ICSD Board of Education President Rob Ainslie. “Beyond the use of any particular device or system, Dr. Brown changed the culture of our district to embrace the use of technology in the classroom, in the operations of the board of education, and very importantly in communications with the community.”