Where Are They Now? Dennis Brown '88

Freshman Catholicism, Senior Ethics, Senior Current Catholic Issues

Favorite Saint Viator memory:
On the last day of school for my seniors back in 1997, I was out of school for some reason. I got a note from one of them telling me to check my classroom before graduation; they had left me a present on my desk, one that I had to be careful walking out of the building with (??). I showed up at SVHS the morning of graduation, and on my desk was a BROWN street sign that some of my students had liberated from the Village of Arlington Heights. That sign and the caricature drawn for me are on my classroom wall to this day.

The impact teaching at Saint Viator had on you: 
Big impact for sure. For a guy with no experience, Saint Viator gave me a chance to start out and figure out what kind of teacher I wanted to be.

What made Saint Viator unique:
The family atmosphere and the integration of faith into every day at school.

Former colleagues you stay in touch with:
I’m Facebook friends with Fr. Bolser, Tom Cole, and Rita Boeke. I’m also FB friends with a handful of my former Saint Viator students (Kelly Lynch Sherlock, Tom Cattapan, Chris Troka, Freyda Lewis, Mark Langton, Anne Klopp Moersfelder).

Town you currently reside in:
Huntley, IL

What you are doing now:
Journalism/Law Teacher at Huntley High School (1997-Present). When I left Saint Viator, Huntley High School offered me a job teaching English and starting up their yearbook and newspaper programs. It was a small school (450 students) and a bit of a culture shock, but I was determined to make a go of it. Since then, I’ve shifted to the social studies department where I teach courses in Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure (making use of my time at DePaul College of Law). I also am still the journalism adviser 25 years in. The last two years have been especially good for me; I won the James Tidwell Award from the Illinois Journalism Education Association and the American Lawyers Alliance National High School Law Teacher of the year (both in 2019). In 2021, Huntley’s journalism team won its first IHSA state championship after three 2nd place finishes and two 3rd place finishes since 2007. My wife Kim and I live in Huntley and our kids, Hugh (22), and Katie (20), are both students at Loyola University in Chicago.

Message for former colleagues and students:
My time at Saint Viator was a great time in my life; I was just starting out, finding my way around a classroom, and Saint Viator (and Fr. Bolser) gave me a chance to find what I was passionate about (teaching) and get to know some really great students in the process. As I said above, I still have the BROWN sign on my wall at Huntley High School; reminds me of that time; I'll never forget it. It would be good to hear from any of you!

Get in touch:
Facebook, but you can also email me at dbrown@district158.org

Saint Viator High School

Located in Arlington Heights, IL, Saint Viator High School is a private, co-ed, Catholic school for grades 9-12. Students benefit from a challenging academic program, fine and performing arts, competitive athletics, and a wide selection of extracurricular activities.