World History Teacher Retires after 25 Years at City High


Sofie Lie

Randy Brown retires after 25 years of teaching at City High

The familiar colorful world map in the back of the classroom witnessed the passing of many fresh-faced students throughout its existence in City High. Now the map will see a different kind of transformation: the dynamic teacher, Randy Brown, is retiring after twenty-five years of teaching.

“[Retirement] doesn’t seem real, I’m sure it will very quickly. I’m not dreading it, but I’m at a loss for what my day is going to look like,” Brown said. “I’m going to try to be positive and think of it as the next stage of my life.”

City High’s numerous activities, traditions, staff, and students have made an enjoyable teaching career for Mr. Brown.

“City High is a great place. I like a lot of things: The assemblies, the red and white Fridays, the camaraderie that the students have; it’s a very positive energy. It’s a good energy to be around.  I like a lot of the teachers here that I’ve gotten to know,” Brown said. “I told somebody this afternoon that my social life is basically just City High.”

Brown's favorite City High Memories
Brown’s favorite City High Memories

While considering his retirement due to health related issues, Brown looked to ask colleagues and family about their thoughts to aid him in his decision.

“There was really a unanimous response. I didn’t clue [my colleagues] in to what [my family] had said, but they said that it may be time to go,” Brown said.  “My colleagues left it up to me – whatever I thought I needed to do to take care of my health, that’s what they were for.”

Although Brown’s retirement concludes his teaching career, he has no difficulty in looking towards the future.

“There’s a lot of positive things about my life that I like a whole lot, I have two granddaughters, and I have two children of my own,” Brown said.

Brown’s many years in front of a high school class have allowed him to not only teach human history and evolution, but watch the evolution of City High over the years.

“There’s a lot more diversity in the school since there was 25 years ago,” Brown said.  “But the heart and school has stayed the same I think.”

Teaching receptive students is an experience Brown leaves reluctantly.

“It certainly is enjoyable to be around people who are willing to take on challenges and who give it their all,” Brown said. “That is the kind of interaction I’m sure I’m going to miss.”

Brown’s abrupt retirement came as a surprise to himself, along with students and colleagues, as it was his intention to teach through the year.

“There’s this funny feeling, like, ‘why are you leaving in the middle of the school year?’,” Brown said. “At the beginning of the year I said I was going to give it my best, and that maybe I’m not even ready to retire at all.”

He promptly realized that his retirement was necessary due to more frequent health related issues.

“By January, I had enough difficulty that I thought maybe this is it, and it went downhill a little bit more after that, so it just seems like it’s time to go,” Brown said.

Brown plans on returning to City High frequently despite considering moving to Baltimore.

“Even if I leave, my son and his two daughters and my daughter and daughter in law all live here,” Brown said.  “I will be in and out of Iowa City on a long term basis.”