Mr. Lakes shares his weekly conversation with former student Shawn Brown of Brooklyn, Nova Scotia.
It began a few years ago. The children of former students started showing up in my classes and on my teams. Although it’s a reminder of the rapid passage of time, it is also a delight!
When Mitchel Brown arrived on campus in September, it did not take long to determine that he was Shawn Brown’s son. A similar attitude, intelligence, and Nova Scotian ease were all evident. Shawn would be the first to tell you that Mitchel shares his father’s passion for sports with added athletic gifts beyond the norm. Shawn (1994-98) was a Provincial Champion ski racer, the Manager of the KES Hockey Team and a steady rugby player. Mitchel is taking it up a notch.
I had the opportunity to tag along with the Prep Baseball Team this fall to Prince Edward Island where I witnessed from the dugout that Mitchel has a bright future. He is a slick fielding third baseman, a composed hitter, and the proprietor of a lightning fastball. Moreover, he is an accomplished defenseman on the KES Boys’ Prep Hockey Team.
I took great pleasure recently visiting Shawn at his workplace in Windsor at Quality Machining Services Ltd. Shawn and his father have built an extraordinary business that employs 37 people, provides extensively for local Michelin Tire factories, and even sends key machine parts to South Carolina and Mexico. “People don’t always realize what goes on here,” says Shawn. “We keep a low profile, but we build important customized machinery for industry.”
Shawn spends his workdays estimating pricing for jobs and as production manager. “I am on the shop floor every day,” he says. “I have known many of the men that work here since I was eight years old.” The business has grown over the years since his father took it over from a partner in the early 1990’s, and it is obviously in good hands with Shawn.
Shawn reflected on his time at King’s-Edgehill School and has vivid memories. There was one thing; however, he never learned during his four years at KES. How to tie a tie! “Never could, still can’t,” he says, “I would get girls to do it for me.”
Shawn also remembers that Ms. Carol Blejwas (KES Faculty 1993-97) introduced him to a love of books. He recalls her assigning him, Of Mice and Men. “I read it one night,” he says. “She didn’t believe me at first and gave me a little oral test that I passed. Then she gave me Catcher in the Rye and I read that. Then she said, ‘I’m going to move you to Honours.” and I said, “Hold it, that’s going too far,” he adds with a laugh.
He did win the Benedict Wong Award that year recognizing his love of books. He continues to this day to read extensively sharing with me that some of his favorite writers include John Krakauer, Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child, Stephen King, Dan Brown and many others.
Mitchel is enjoying his year and will be joined next year by his brother Kail who will enter Grade 9. Shawn and his wife Sarah will then have two boys pursuing athletics and academics as KES Highlanders. Yet, another child of a former KES student will begin his journey in the Junior School!
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