School Context

Vanessa Brown
Many of the teachers at Germantown High School have taught there for their entire teaching careers. Several teachers and staff members attended the school during its “glory days” of high student enrollment, high student achievement, athletic programs, marching bands, vibrant student government, choirs and choruses, academic, vocational and technical course offerings. Those teachers are now retiring or preparing for retirement having watched the school shift from “glory to the near grave” as a combined result of unconscionable budget slashing, high unemployment, drugs, housing pattern shifts and system wide neglect. Several teachers & staff members attended the school during its “glory days"...
The student body is predominantly African American. There are 1% Latino and perhaps .5% Asian and .5% Caucasian. Most students have scored at basic or below basic on national and local standardized tests. While it is not considered a Title I school, most students are from low to low middle-income families. Our freshman class has experienced a retention rate of over 50% for 4 years in a row.

Under the leadership of its fourth principal since I arrived in ’93, the school has purchased a research based whole school reform model called Talent Development. It is hoped that this program will guide Germantown forward to its dreams of new “glory days."