Charles Herbert Flowers High senior Travis Latchman will see his educational journey come full circle when Walker Mill Middle School Principal Gorman Brown becomes the Springdale school’s new principal this fall.
Latchman, a former Walker Mill student, said he found out his former principal will replace Helena Nobles-Jones who retired after 12 years as the Springdale school’s first principal. The Prince George’s County Board of Education officially confirmed Brown on June 14.
“When I left I said it would be really cool if I could have him as a principal again,” Latchman, 16, of Forestville said. “I thought back to that moment and thought it was the coolest thing.”
Brown, 44, said he eyed the position because the school is connected with the community, highly touted for its academics and blocks away from his Mitchellville home.
Brown, Walker Mill’s principal since 2005, said the Capitol Heights school annually sends at least 40 of its 700 students to Flowers and he knows the academic expectations at Flowers align with his for student success.
“A lot of my kids who came to Flowers said they felt it was the same kind of pushing and vigilance they experienced at Walker Mill Middle School,” Brown said.
The first 90 days for Brown will be spent analyzing any educational gaps in the more than 2,300 student school, observing classrooms and working on forming community partnerships such as the one between national technology company Lockheed Martin, which assisted in building Walker Mill’s robotics program.
Brown, who served as a Suitland High School assistant principal for two and a half years before Walker Mill, said he admits there will be somewhat of a learning curve readjusting to high school. He said he will spend time this summer studying the requirements of the High School Assessment — state standardized tests required for students to graduate high school — Advanced Placement courses and the school’s four-year Science and Technology program.
Compared to middle school students, Brown said he is expecting Flowers students to bear more responsibilities as they come into their own as young adults.
“I believe it is our job to help nurture that, to help them see what their role is in this world and give them experiences that support that,” Brown said.
Brown is also impressed with the level of involvement from Flowers alumni. While at his daughter Imani’s track meet, Brown said he met two 2007 alumni June 17 at Landover’s Prince George’s Sports and Learning Complex who were already in talks to mentor students at the school.
“Students that went through the program, they come back and they give of their time and their energies to contribute to the school,” Brown said. “That’s unique. Not a lot of schools have that level of involvement from alumni.”
Cynthia Clarke, a Flowers assistant principal for seven years, said she is impressed so far by Brown’s enthusiasm and said his background as a math and science teacher can only enhance existing programs such as the school’s four-year Science and Technology program. Before Suitland, Brown also served as a math and science teacher at Temple Hills’ Benjamin Stoddert Middle School for five years.
“We had one great leader and then to be able to transition to someone dynamic and great and knowledgeable, I think he’s going to be great for the school,” Clarke said.