FIRST A BLUEFIELD COLLEGE STUDENT, THEN BC CHAIR OF THE BOARD, NOW BC ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF EDUCATION, DR. THOMAS BREWSTER.
Dr. Brewster comes to Bluefield College after serving most recently as superintendent of Pulaski County Public Schools, where for four years he led “one of the most progressive school divisions in the state” with more than 370 teachers educating 4,350 students at nine different schools. In fact, the Virginia Department of Education through its Virginia Tiered Systems of Supports program recently deemed Pulaski County Public Schools a “trailblazer” school district for its innovation and commitment to the success of students.
Under Dr. Brewster’s leadership, Pulaski County Public Schools created the New River Valley’s first Governor’s STEM Academy, designed a comprehensive K-12 student support system, secured high-powered broadband access throughout the district, and increased the number of advanced placement, dual enrollment and workforce training opportunities for students. In addition, several of Pulaski County Schools were recognized as Distinguished Title I and Blue Ribbon award winners during Dr. Brewster’s tenure. In 2013, he was selected the Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce’s Business Executive of the Year and later inducted to the Pulaski County Career and Technical Center’s Wall of Honor and the Tazewell High School Hall of Fame.
“This is a significant accomplishment for Bluefield College and the School of Education to secure the academic leadership of Dr. Tom Brewster,” said Dr. Marshall Flowers, vice president for academic affairs. “He is an experienced university professor and an exemplary public school administrator with a keen vision for Christ-centered higher education. He truly wants to influence the future generation of public school educators in Virginia through his commitment to excellence in teaching at Bluefield College.”
Dr. Brewster began his career in 1991 as a social studies teacher at Graham High School. Later, he became an assistant principal at Tazewell High School and then principal at Pocahontas High School, before moving into higher education as an assistant professor at Concord University. While at Concord, he also served as director of institutional assessment before becoming a student services coordinator and later deputy superintendent and then superintendent for Pulaski County Schools. In addition, he has worked as a part-time adjunct instructor at Virginia Tech, Radford University and Bluefield College.
As part of his passion for education, Dr. Brewster has also served as a member of the Virginia State Board of Education and the Virginia State Community College Board. He also serves as director of external affairs for Communities in Schools of Virginia, an affiliate of Communities in Schools, the nation’s largest dropout prevention program.
“We are thrilled to welcome my friend and colleague, Dr. Thomas Brewster, to our faculty,” said Dr. Donna Watson, professor and chair of the School of Education. “His experience at so many levels of public education makes him an invaluable resource for our program, and his time spent in the teaching and learning profession will be a huge benefit for all his classes and course development.”
And while his tenure as a full time associate professor of education at Bluefield College is just beginning, Dr. Brewster is no stranger to BC. He earned his bachelor’s degree in social studies education from Bluefield in 1991, before obtaining a master’s degree in educational leadership from Radford University in 1995 and a doctorate in educational leadership and policy from Virginia Tech in 2000. He also served five years on the Bluefield College Board of Trustees, including a stint as chair of the Board, and was named BC Alumnus of the Year in 2013. A native of nearby Tazewell, Virginia, and a graduate of Tazewell High School, Dr. Brewster is also a member of the THS Hall of Fame.
“I am so fortunate to have the opportunity to return home to work at Bluefield College,” said Dr. Brewster. “Bluefield College holds a special place in my heart, and I am honored to be working with Dr. Watson as a member of the highly regarded School of Education.”
Outside of his work and as a volunteer for his community, he has twice served as a member of the Tazewell County Board of Supervisors. Brewster currently resides in Falls Mills, Virginia, with his wife, Debra, and daughters London, Sahara, and Milan.