The black, short-sleeved shirt bearing the school’s name and mascot seemed typical of a principal. But gliding into the main office on a skateboard to meet a visitor? Much more unexpected. That entrance last week, though, is a pretty fair representation of Hamish Brewer, who is taking over the top job at Fred M. Lynn Middle School after five years at Occoquan Elementary. The 40-year-old New Zealand native has his own brand of leadership, a style that has yielded academic results, Occoquan collected national awards last school year.
So it would have been understandable if Bixby had recruited Brewer, who in April was named the state’s 2017 National Distinguished Principal by the Virginia Association of Elementary School Principals. Occoquan was also named a National Title I Distinguished School, recognized for its achievements in educating children from low-income families.But Brewer said he sought the Fred Lynn job. He wasn’t looking to leave Occoquan, but he liked the idea of a new challenge, and it didn’t hurt that students from his previous school would be going to the middle school.
The principal said he feels at home in an environment with a diverse student body. His aim is to show that any student can learn, regardless of circumstances.
“Poverty is not a learning disability,” he said.