There’s a special tree planted just outside of Holy Family Catholic High School. Its plaque designates that it is in honor of Kathleen Brown—“She helped us grow.”
Brown is retiring after 20 years as the Victoria school’s first and only principal. Established in 2000, the high school opened with ninth and 10th grades (147 students) and 12 staff members. “We were the creators, and it was so exhausting, yet so exciting at the same time,” Brown says.
Formerly a teacher and school administrator at Catholic Memorial High School in Wisconsin for 25 years, Brown has a history of doing “whatever it takes” to achieve success with students, schools and communities. “There is nothing that she is not willing to do,” says Matt Thuli, Holy Family’s director of individual giving and alumni relations and one of the original staff members.
Brown hopes that the Catholic college preparatory school will continue to promote the culture of service leadership that she helped establish. While she’s influenced many students over the years, her leadership style has also left a positive impact on staff. “When you see how hard she works to make the school successful, you can’t help but ask yourself, ‘What more can I do, and how can I help?’” Thuli says.