Interview by Abernathy Cochran Real Estate Group intern Amelia Payne
Meet Gwenell Brown! Gwenell is the principal at Fair Street Elementary in Gainesville and longtime Hall County residents. She is a wife and mother who grew up in Gainesville and only left Hall County during her time at Georgia College.
Gwenell said her favorite thing about Hall County is the close knit community.
“It is still small enough to be a close knit community. We pull together if there is something that needs to be done,” she said.
We want to thank Mrs. Brown for recently sitting down with us and telling us more about her life and love of Hall County.
Question: What inspired you or lead you to your current career?
Answer: “I have been in education for 37 years. I always wanted to teach as a little girl but never thought I would be an administrator. I just love teaching. I taught 2nd grade, K1, 3rd grade and ESOL. One of my principals encouraged me to go back to school. So, I went back and got my masters and made a promise that I would get my leadership. My principal at New Holland said that she was retiring and they were moving the assistant principal to a new school and that I needed to apply for the job. I shadowed and applied for the job. I was the assistant principal at New Holland for 10 years and said I was going to retire. Something told me it wasn’t time so I applied for the job at Fair Street when it became open. This is the school I went to for elementary school so it has come full circle.”
Q: What is your favorite restaurant in Hall County, and what do you love there?
A: “Collegiate Grill. I love their burgers and fries.”
Q: How long have you lived or worked in Hall County?
A: “All together I have worked here 29 years but I grew up here.”
Q: Who is the most interesting person you’ve met here in Hall County?
A: “Dorothy Bell Rucker that was a part of the Beulah Rucker School. To me she was the most fascinating person to talk to because she knew the history of the black schools and the history of Hall County. I can remember as a girl scout Mrs. Dorothy Bell would come and tell stories and play the piano and sing to us.”
Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would it be? And why?
A: “Hawaii has been my dream vacation. I would love to go there one day.”
Q: What is your favorite movie or what is the first movie you remember seeing in a theatre?
A: “One of my favorite movies is ‘The Help.’ I love listening to how the ladies tell their stories.”
Q: What advice would you give a crowd of people?
A: “Try to give back to the community. I love the Gainesville/Hall County community and I just think that giving back is important. Through volunteering, your time, or your money. Just give back where you can.”
Q: What is something on your bucket list?
A: “To do a zip line. I would love to do that. I think it’s so neat.”
Q: What is your favorite music/ 3 bands you would like to see (dead or alive)?
A: “I love Earth, Wind, and Fire. I would love to see them in concert.”
Q: Choosing anyone alive and a non-relative: with whom would you love to have lunch? Why? Where is Hall County would you have lunch?
A: “President Barack Obama and I would take him to a steakhouse. I think just to have a conversation with him would be very enlightening.”
Q: What is your favorite thing about Hall County?
A: “It is still small enough to be a close knit community. We pull together if there is something that needs to be done. For example, United Way in Hall County is giving and they do great things all throughout our community.”
Q: Where do you see yourself in five or 10 years?
A: “Retired and traveling.”
Q: (Even for friends or family), what is something interesting that most people don’t know about you?
A: “Me, my dad, my daughter, and my great nephew all have the same birthday.”
Q: What three words or phrases come to mind when you think of the word HOME?
A: “My children, husband, and recliner.”
The Faces of Hall County is a project to showcase the amazing people that live or work in our community. If you would like to nominate an interesting person to be featured please email firstname.lastname@example.org.