By Madison Botkins, EKU Manchester
John Brown was born at Camp Lejeune, a military camp in Jacksonville, North Carolina. After growing up on several military bases growing up, his father bought a few acres of land in Bourbon County, Kentucky.
Later, John and his wife owned and ran several business ventures, including mall stores, mall kiosks, a food concession trailer, flea market stalls, and selling signs and sunglasses at the Factory Outlet Mall in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. In 1996, they opened Reno’s Roadhouse in Corbin, Kentucky, and built their own “Ghost Town” within the Cumberland Falls State Park. The businesses were doing well but were shut down by the state to build a road. They invested so much time and money into their businesses and couldn’t withstand the financial loss that consequently followed. Thus, they moved to Clay county in search for employment.
John Brown received a B.A. in English and philosophy. During his schooling, he took several German classes to accompany his philosophy degree. Fourteen years after he graduated, he returned to school to get his Master of Arts in Teaching. He currently teaches at Clay County High School. Doug Adams, the superintendent, asked Brown if he would be interested in teaching German at Clay County High School, Brown agreed. He traveled to Munich, Germany for three months to take the Praxis test, which is needed to earn his certification. This makes his 10th year teaching German! During Christmas, he spreads joy throughout the school. For the past seven years, he has gathered his German I and II students to sing Christmas carols in German throughout the school.
John Brown positively contributes to the community by teaching and exposing students to different cultures. Brown said, “I love teaching at Clay County High School. The longer I teach, the more I enjoy teaching it [German]. My teaching continually improves, and my enjoyment of the students continually increases. I think Clay County is a hotbed of talent, and there has always been at least a battery of gifted and devoted teachers.”