Hamish M. Brewer
Hamish Brewer

Principal Hamish M. Brewer, who has served Occoquan Elementary for the past five years, strives to remove all obstacles standing in the way of student achievement. By streamlining administrative procedures, Brewer has shifted the school’s focus back where it belongs, on the students. Data-driven practices are at the core of the school, with teachers and administration dedicated on a daily and weekly basis to analyzing student progress data and adjusting instruction accordingly, with incredible results. Over the past four years, economically disadvantaged students have increased reading proficiency percentages from 59 to 87, while students with disabilities and English-language learners have also increased their respective reading and math scores by double-digit percentages. Encouraging students to take ownership of their education has proven a highly effective tool for increasing parent involvement as well, creating a virtuous cycle and fostering a community-wide love of learning. Family involvement has grown with free English classes, parent field trips, and parent informational nights. Physical transformation of the school – it’s now deskless, with classrooms featuring 360-surround sound audio enhancement and a 1:1 tablet ratio – has likewise transformed the student experience; as Brewer explains, “when you develop opportunities for all four of the senses to be sparked, students become available and engaged in their learning process.” Brewer holds a B.A. in Education from Auckland University, an M.Ed. from Virginia Commonwealth University, and an Ed.D. from Virginia Tech.

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