Kelsey Brown and her third-grade students at H.C. Davis Elementary School flash some big smiles during a quick break from their coursework. This class will be the last of Brown’s, as she is set to take on the role of principal of Cut Bank’s elementary schools at the start of the 2021-22 school year.

“I thought it was time to start making a difference in a different way.”

That was Kelsey Brown’s thought when she decided to leave her third-grade teaching position at H.C. Davis Elementary School and accept the new position she was offered as principal of Cut Bank’s two elementary schools. 

Venus Dodson, the current elementary schools’ principal, will be retiring from that position in June.

“I love teaching and I know that I am going to miss it, but I will still be working with students and families of Cut Bank and working more directly with the staff at the elementary schools,” Kelsey explained.

Kelsey took her first teaching job in Cut Bank in the fall of 2011 after graduating from MSU-Billings in the spring of that same year. She has been teaching third grade in the Cut Bank School system ever since. 

In 2016, she graduated with a master’s degree in education technology from Augustana College in Sioux Falls, So. Dak. In July of 2020, she earned her principal endorsement from the University of Montana. 

When Kelsey interviewed for the teaching position in Cut Bank back in 2011, she remembered how she felt when she met some of the staff. “Everyone was so friendly and truly interested in who I was and what I could bring to the table,” she reminisced. “I remember walking around and getting the school tour and a huge relief was lifted off of me. I followed my gut instinct and I knew this was the school for me and where I needed to be. Luckily, the school felt the same and offered me the job.”

Kelsey has had no regrets since that first meeting and the first day in her classroom. She really loves being a teacher! 

One of Kelsey’s favorite things about teaching is the “ah ha” moment the students arrive at when they understand what she has been teaching. 

“That ‘ah ha’ moment the students have and the sparkle in their eye gives you such a sense of accomplishment and you know then that you are truly teaching,” she said. “I also love seeing the growth in the students from the beginning of the year to the end. They come in as learners and leave with their minds full of knowledge, wanting to learn more.”

Kelsey continued, “I love that my job allows me to make a difference in their lives. My favorite thing is when they come back a year or years later and give you that hug or share a memory with you or just want to say hi. I also truly enjoy the relationships that you build with students. Whether you are talking about school, sports or books, you are truly able to connect with every student in so many different ways.”

Along with being in the classroom with students, Kelsey has also been with students on the courts and fields. “During the last 10 years, I have coached middle school track, high school tennis, high school girls basketball and volleyball,” she stated.

She has also been a tech assistant, a mentor, a PIC (person in charge), professional development instructor and an instructor for the Golden Triangle Curriculum Cooperative. She has facilitated classes from the Montana Institute of Educational Technology and has worked with the Office of Public Instruction as a professional development instructor. 

And now, this woman who has a nice list of wonderful credentials behind her name as well as having been in the classroom for a decade, is going to become the new principal. 

“I am excited to lead the staff and teachers to greatness,” Kelsey said. “I really enjoy doing those little things like creating schedules, gathering data, setting up meetings and writing reports. I also enjoy meeting with grade levels and teachers and brainstorming ways in which we can make our school better whether it is on the playground, in the classrooms or outside of our school in the community.”

Kelsey was born in Bozeman, Mont., but at the age of two, her family moved to Fairfield and that is the town she called home for a number of years. 

But since coming to Cut Bank in 2011, Kelsey is proud to call Cut Bank her home. And at the beginning of the 2021-2022 school year this fall, Kelsey will also be proud to make a difference in a different way as the principal of the Cut Bank Elementary Schools.

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