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New dean of students: Empowering students gives them a voice

Meet Your Administrator: Carlton Brewster II

Carlton Brewster II is the new dean of students and head varsity football coach at Wyoming High School. SNN gets to know him in this edition of Meet your Administrator.

Wyoming Carlton Brewster II will begin April 12 as the new dean of students and head football coach at Wyoming High School, where he hopes to be a positive and empowering force for students on and off the field. 

 Other positions in education:

  • Character development coach, Kalamazoo Central High School 
  • Intervention specialist, Godwin Heights alternative school 
  • Dean, William C. Abney Academy 
  • Intervention specialist, Lee High School 

Brewster also has coached football at his alma mater, Creston High School, and at Ottawa Hills, Grand Rapids Catholic Central, Forest Hills Eastern, Godfrey Lee, Godwin Heights, and Kalamazoo Central high schools.

How about jobs outside education:

“In the summertime years ago, I worked for the Michigan Department of Transportation in a mentoring program. I was the supervisor and my job was to lead and supervise students. We used to drive around and pick up litter and trash at carpool lots.”

(Oh, and he spent two years in the NFL as a wide receiver and punt returner for the Cleveland Browns, Green Bay Packers and Denver Broncos. Brewster has also played wide receiver in the Arena Football League for the Grand Rapids Rampage, Oklahoma City Yard Dawgz and Chicago Rush.) 

Family: Wife, Cassondra Brewster; and children Aniyah, 18; Teonna, 15; Kevin 15; Zara, 6; and Carlton III, 2.

Education/degrees:  

  • Bachelor’s degree, integrative studies of art and science, Ferris State University
  • Master’s degree, education leadership, Grand Valley State University 
Carlton Brewster, Wyoming High School’s new dean of students and football coach, played for the NFL and has coached several high-school teams

Hobbies/Interests:  “I love spending time with my family and friends. (Also), watching the game and working out.”  

What kind of kid were you at the age of students at Wyoming High School? “I was a good kid. I liked to have fun, make jokes and was known as a class clown. I was a decent student, but I should have done better academically. Overall, I was well-liked and carried leadership qualities from a young age.” 

The biggest lesson you have learned from students is“… to be quicker to listen and slower to speak. It’s imperative to empower students by allowing them to have a voice. This is an important step toward building a relationship with my students. Each and every one of them are different, and require different needs. By allowing them to have a voice, I’m able to gain their trust and tend to their needs.”  

Finish this sentence: If I could go back to school I would go to …“The ninth grade. Knowing what I know now, I would have taken my academics more seriously and applied myself 100% in the classroom. This would have better prepared me for college and life. Being that I was a student-athlete, my focus was always on football first; that was the wrong mentality to have back then.” 

What is the No. 1 potential positive change for schools you hope comes out of the pandemic?

“I hope that our students have a greater appreciation for coming to school. So often you hear kids talk about not wanting to get up for school. The pandemic has forced our students to do virtual learning. They were isolated from their peers, sports were taken away, and they didn’t have the option to do in-seat learning for a while.”

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Erin Albanese
Erin Albanese
Erin Albanese is associate managing editor and reporter, covering Byron Center, Kentwood, Wyoming and Grand Rapids Community College. She was one of the original SNN staff writers, helping launch the site in 2013 and enjoys fulfilling the mission of sharing the stories of public education. She has worked as a journalist in the Grand Rapids area since 2000. A graduate of Central Michigan University, she has written for The Grand Rapids Press, Advance Newspapers, On-the-Town Magazine and Group Tour Media. Read Erin's full bio

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