In today’s episode, I sat down with Hamish Brewer. Anybody who has seen Hamish in action can immediately feel his presence, his passion, his zest for life and learning, and his desire to make a genuine difference in the lives of the teachers and the students he serves. 

Hamish is the principal of Fred Lynn Middle School in Woodbridge, Virginia. One the the very first things you can notice about genuine difference makers in this world is their ability to clearly articulate their purpose in life. 

Without question, Hamish knows and understands that his purpose in life is to serve others and to bring out the very best in them. Although every decision he makes in his role as an educational leader is about students, Hamish has a very strong commitment to supporting teachers on their autonomous journeys of personal and professional development. 

Having grown up in New Zealand, Hamish felt, from an early age, that he was meant to use his talents in a way to change the world. It took him some time to figure out what those talents were and how he could use them to make an impact, but he quickly realized that it was going to be through teaching and educational leadership. 

Hamish is all about creating a deep sense of belonging in the schools that he leads and continually builds a very strong community base that all stakeholders feel a part of. 

In this episode, we dive into how Hamish was able to overcome the obstacles he experienced as a young person and how he dealt with a dysfunctional family environment. He openly discusses what his hopes and dreams were when he was young and how he was destined to leave New Zealand in order to travel the world and learn about different people and cultures. Hamish has deep gratitude for these experiences.

It was this life of travel that ultimately led Hamish to America and to the current path he is on in the field of education. 

Hamish pours his heart and soul into the work that he does as he feels strongly that serving others is a noble gift that can help to change the world, one person at a time. 

Through the Dave Burgess Publishing company, Hamish released his first book a couple of months ago which is entitled ‘Relentless’. This book has taken the world of education by storm and is a very honest and open narrative about Hamish’s life and an unpacking of the educational philosophy that guides the amazing work that he is doing with the students and with teachers he is responsible for leading. 

Although much has been written about Hamish being the skateboarding, tattooed principal, we don’t discuss his tattoos or his skateboarding at all in this episode. Instead we dig deeply into who Hamish is as a person and what continues to drive him forward in his life in order to create his own dent in the universe. 

I want to thank Hamish for his time and energy. He’s a gem of a person and I’m so happy that our paths crossed. 

Hamish’s Bio

Hamish Brewer, the relentless, tattooed, skateboarding principal in Northern Virginia isn’t your normal principal. Hamish is high octane, constantly calling on his students to “Be Relentless. Mr. Brewer has become known as an educational disrupter and game changer who transcends the status quo and typical educational norms.

Known for working with some of the most at risk students in America and getting results! Its not often you find an educational leader who not only inspires the world but does it while getting results and changing the outcomes of entire communities.

Hamish was recognized as the 2017 NAESP Nationally Distinguished Principal, the VAESP School Bell Award, and ASCD Virginia Impact Award. In 2018 Hamish was named a Northern Virginian of the year by Northern Virginia Magazine and the 2018 Principal of the year for the national publication Education Dive. He was most recently named the Prince William County Public Schools 2019 Principal of the Year.

As a leader and speaker, Hamish is considered an inspiration, innovator and motivational by those who have met, watched or listened to him. Under his leadership – his Elementary school was recognized as a Nationally Distinguished Title One School, and Hamish has since gone on to turn around one of the toughest Middle Schools in the state of Virginia.

Hamish is a highly sought-after international keynote speaker – motivating and inspiring audiences everywhere, including being recognized as a TEDx Speaker and in a Google commercial.

Originally from New Zealand where he earned his first degree from the University of Auckland. Mr. Brewer is currently a doctoral student at Virginia Tech University and working on development of his educational foundation.
Mr. Brewer serves at the state level as the Federal Relations Coordinator on the Board of Directors with the Virginia Association of Elementary School Principals. He is a school turnaround and school improvement specialist, working some of the most at-risk students in the United States.
Mr. Brewer was highlighted as a Hometown Hero by Fox 5 in Washington, DC. With more than 32 million views his story has become a viral sensation being highlighted on the national news with NBC and Lester Holt. Mr. Brewer is also being featured in a documentary Humanity Stoked.

Mr. Brewer has currently awaiting his first book, Relentless, to be published by Dave Burgees (Author of Teacher Like A Pirate) – soon to be on shelves by the end of May, 2019.

Mr. Brewer is currently a principal in Prince William County, one of the largest divisions in the country, helping in best practices in school parent and student engagement, school improvement and building culture. In addition he has helped advance the implementation and use of technology.

Connect With Hamish

Twitter: @brewerhm 





Themes Discussed:

Resilience, Empowerment, Personal & Professional Growth, Making a Difference, Autonomy, Purpose, Hope, Community