Our School's History
The first school located at 4720 Highway 150 east was named BROWN SUMMIT COLORED SCHOOL. The purpose of the building was to have a place to educate African American children from this area under one roof. Records indicate this building was constructed and completed using money from a Sears and Roebuck grant. The structure was built as a two teacher school that evolved into a six teacher school.
The layout of the school was brick consisting of six rooms, outdoor toilets and hot air heat. Over the years through the 1950’s, the building was modernized and 2 additional buildings were added; a cafeteria and a gymnasium. In the beginning, the school year ran from 6 to 8 months, attending students went from grades 1st to 7th and later the 8th grade was added. During the 1930’s, grades 9-11 were also added and the school name was changed to BROWN SUMMIT HIGH SCHOOL. A former student Mrs. Bettye Blackwell (Martin) was among the last class to graduate from the 11th grade (graduating class of 1945). The 12th grade was added when the school attendance requirement was set by the state of North Carolina. The school operated under these names for a total of (42 years) until school integration.
The school then became an elementary school that welcomed students of all races. Brown Summit Elementary was paired with Monticello Elementary. Students from both communities attended Brown Summit for kindergarten through second grade and Monticello for third through sixth grades. In 1987, the school board consolidated the two, making Brown Summit a K-5 school and closing Monticello. People in Monticello were upset when their community school closed, but then rallied around Brown Summit Elementary. Additions and renovations helped, but the school's 430 students eventually outgrew the space. In January 2000, students returned from their holiday break to a brand new elementary school about two miles down Hwy 150. The new school recognizes both communities in its name, Monticello-Brown Summit Elementary.
After Brown Summit Elementary closed, the buildings sat vacant for several years. In 2003, the school board chose the empty school as a location to expand its magnet schools program. Today, Brown Summit Middle (opened in 2004) is a magnet middle school with a focus on Advanced Academics. The original school buildings have been replaced and the name and grade levels may have changed, but the goal and purpose have always remained the same; to educate children!!
Photographs from the Past
We hope you will view the "Photographs from the Past" slideshow.
To see the picture captions and descriptions,
click on the small "i" in the upper left corner of the first photograph.
Historic Road Marker
On March 29, 2018, a new historic road marker was dedicated in front of Brown Summit Middle School. You will find the words on the historic marker provide information about our school, how it began and the impact it made on the community. In a nutshell:
Booker T. Washington of the Tuskegee Institute and Julius Rosenwald, philanthropist and president of Sears Roebuck, built state-of-the-art schools for African-American children across the South. That effort has been called the most important initiative to advance education for black children in the early 20th century.
By 1928, one-third of the South's rural Black school children and teachers were served by Rosenwald Fund Schools. Our Brown Summit (Colored) High School was a Rosenwald Fund School.
Please visit https://www.historysouth.org/schoolplans/ to read more about the Rosenwald Fund Schools.
As a part of the research for the Brown Summit (Colored) High School's history, some of the current Brown Summit Middle School students interviewed former students and teachers about their experience at the school. These interviews have been cataloged and can be viewed on YouTube. Click on the link below to watch the interviews.