Teacher Spotlight: Administrator juggles different responsibilities


Kishan Patel

During class, Vice Principal of Technology and Student Affairs Brian Powell searches for political ad campaign videos to teach his AP Government and Politics students. Powell, along with being a teacher, is an administrator, has a side design company, and farms as a hobby.

Dribbling a soccer ball through the varsity men’s soccer team, Vice Principal of Technology and Student Affairs Brian Powell struggles to do the tricks and moves that once came as second nature to him.

“I miss it a lot. Every couple years I go out to [soccer] practice with the varsity boys and so far, I haven’t been completely depressed yet,” Powell said. Powell, a former Division 1 soccer player for Pennsylvania State University, played two years before deciding to give up his scholarship due to conflicts with his coach.

Afterwards, he transferred to Loyola University only to realize he preferred Penn State and transferred back the ensuing semester.

During his undergraduate experience, Powell earned a degree in political science and then attended Johns Hopkins University for his masters of arts in teaching.

Powell has had a 10-year teaching career, with eight years at JC. The past three years, Powell has been both an administrator and teacher. Prior to Powell’s years at JC, he worked in the Baltimore City school district at Francis Scott Key Elementary and Middle School.

The experience teaching at JC and in Baltimore City brought Powell meaningful experiences with students from many diverse cultures. According to Powell, he had to learn strong classroom management skills because academics weren’t the students main focus at Francis Scott Key.

His official title as the Vice Principal of Technology and Student Affairs is misleading. Powell actually wears many different hats around the school and holds multiple responsibilities.

According to Powell, his crowning achievement is handling his various roles with a hand in discipline, technology, and administrative work, while on top of that trying to teach his AP US Government class.

When Powell isn’t working at school, he is relaxing and spending time with his wife, five children, and his host child, senior Gavin Ding at his country-side home.

Originally, hosting Ding was just an every day joke that Powell would make in class. However, Ding took the joke literally. “He talked to Mrs. Siler, and she approached me about it. That night I talked to my wife about it and a week later Gavin [Ding] was living with us,” Powell said.

Living with Powell shows a unique side of the Vice Principal of Technology and Student Affairs that many students never see. “He [Powell] works around the house a lot and they try keeping a lot of different animals,” Ding said.

At their farm, Powell has kept a variety of animals including: meat and egg chickens, goats, bees, and, most recently, pigs. According to Powell, he does this strictly as a hobby.  

However, this is not the only non-school related occupation Powell has. According to Powell, he uses online tools to design posters and other materials. “I design for strictly my sister-in-law who is in the real estate business,” Powell said.

He learned the necessary skills to design and make advertisements when he first graduated college. Powell worked for a local state senator campaign for six months before deciding to become an educator.

On top of those jobs, Powell works to fix and improve his countryside home. “I bought a fixer-upper and since I’m off during the summer, that’s what I work on with other things,” Powell said. “I enjoy challenges and solving things, I’m not afraid to break things to fix them.”

Powell credits his love for challenges as a major reason why he enjoys his job. One of the biggest challenges he has faced is unrolling the new information system: Veracross.

“My goal is to leave it all on the field. If I’m not mentally tired or exhausted, I’m not sure I was effective that day,” Powell said. “Whether it’s thinking about students struggling, training teachers in Veracross, or dealing with faculty, I always want to be engaged.”

Kishan Patel is the Online Editor in Chief of The Patriot and jcpatriot.com.