Tony Brown’s Nerdy Tendencies Took Him Around the World

January 29, 2015

Culture, The Zoetics

 

Photo by The Catalyst IT Specialist Tony Brown and scholar Nick Mead chat in "The Dungeon," Brown's office.

Photo by The Catalyst
IT Specialist Tony Brown and scholar Nick Mead chat in Brown’s office, nicknamed “The Dungeon.”

 

By Gabi Orr-Dick

Anthony Brown, or Tony, says he has considered himself a geek since he was born. ASK’s resident IT specialist has spent a lifetime tinkering with technology and computers — the first being a computer from Radio Shack. He loves comic books and even named the school’s servers, “Black Widow,” “Thor,” and “SHIELD.” He said he cannot wait for the new “Avengers” movie to come out. Brown’s interests are similar to many of the students on campus.

On Tuesdays and Thursdays he can be found in his IT office, which has been deemed “The Dungeon,” by most on campus. He starts his day by checking the servers. “I check to see if there are any event alarms and if there are any, I clear them and do any fixing that needs to be done.” Next, he checks the Internet and firewalls to make sure they are still operating correctly. Lastly, Brown has a shelf dedicated to laptops that need replacement parts; some he has on hand and some parts need to be ordered.  “During that time, students and staff may come in and out and we address the problems that need to be fixed,” he said.

Brown earned a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science at ITT Tech, and has spent years working at various schools and evolving his business, Poweron Technology Services. He has  lived and worked in Florida, Washington D.C., and worked for America Online in the Philippines as a Payment Service Director, where he did credit card programming and taught people how to process credit cards. “If something went wrong on the back end, we would fix it,” he said.

When he is not at ASK, he is at  Cien Aguas International School, a charter school in Albuquerque which includes grades K-8. He said his job duties are on a whole different spectrum at that school. “At the elementary school, they have a lab and one cart with laptops, so it’s a little easier to manage. With elementary students, you are not really concerned about them tampering with things, so you can go ahead and set your firewall and block anything inappropriate.”

Married with three daughters and a son, Brown said he always has something to do. “My son who is 22 and in the Navy was just deported to Bahrain, my youngest daughter just turned 5, and my middle and oldest daughters tested into gifted.” With his son being away, Brown is left with his wife and three daughters. “Its kind of rough being in a house full of women. You never know what you’re going to walk into when you get home,” he laughed.

He said that out of all the schools he has worked at, ASK seems to get it right.  “I have seen both ends of the spectrum as far as education, and that’s why I can tell you ASK Academy seems to be head and shoulders over most schools,” he said. “A lot of the students seem to really enjoy it and I think the instructors are more engaged and friendlier, and I think they have more of an interest towards the students’ well being. Every year there is a different mix of scholars but they seem to have the same attitude — Everybody comes in excited, everyone is always nice, everyone who comes to me for help is always courteous and it seems like the scholars here are not only taught academics, but taught how to be nice and how to interact with each other.

Brown said he is excited for the move to a new campus next year. ” I think you guys will love it. I think it will be a great environment for the scholars, and it is something that the founders have worked toward since day one —  and just looking at the model and the floor plans and some of the technology that’s going into the school, it’s going to be awesome.”

Brown said he will continue to work at ASK when the new school is built, and joked that he will only stop when he is dead.

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