School reflects on loss of cosmetology teacher


photo or infographic by Samuel Skeide

NEVER FORGOTTEN. Proud of her new podium, cosmetology teacher Callie Brown poses with the furniture bearing her name. Brown who fought a valiant fight against cancer, passed away in March.

The teacher is giving her lesson on how to properly apply roller sets when a favorite song plays over the speaker. She and her students break into song and dance for a few minutes of kicks and giggles before getting back to a lesson that will help them obtain their cosmetology certification. This is what would occur in Callie Brown’s classroom in the CTE building, and the fond memories shared with her will not be forgotten by those who were a part of her life. 

Former cosmetology teacher Callie Brown passed away on March 13 after battling cancer since 2020. The funeral service was held at The Luke Church on March 25. 

She had high expectations for all her students, no matter the situation but she also didn’t mind having a dance-off mid-class,” cosmetology teacher Kaitlin Hepler said. “Roller sets and the tootsie slide went hand in hand, of course.”

Brown spent most of last year on medical leave and did not return to teach this school year. She was dearly missed by her students. 

“I’m glad I got to know her for the two short years I knew her,” senior Sam Skeide said. “I confided in her when I had no one else to do so. You will be forever missed.”

CHERISHED MEMORIES. Taking a quick pic, senior Samuel Skeide snaps a shot with cosmetology teacher Callie Brown. On Twitter Skeide mentioned how Ms. Brown never failed to make him smile or laugh. (photo or infographic by Samuel Skeide)

She was one of the first teachers to have classes in the new CTE building when it opened. Her class helped prepare students for a future specialized career in cosmetology.

“She was an amazing role model and was someone to look up to in this kind of industry,” senior Avari Ford said. 

She was a strong role model for her students and all who surrounded her. 

“Ms. Brown was a force to be reckoned with, and in her short time here at WHS, she made a huge impact on the lives of her students,” principal Stephanie Hodgins said. “She will be sorely missed by all those who knew her and loved her.” 

Callie Brown was known for being put together every day with her outfits and matching lipstick, ready to take on any challenge the day would bring. 

“The students and I have ‘time is money and money is time’ engraved in our heads for the rest of eternity,” Hepler said. “She was funny, kind, and oh so honest. She worked hard and loved her students as if they were her own. Ms. Brown was truly one of a kind person. There never has been or will be another like her.” 

She brought her students closer to obtaining their dreams and was more than an instructor. She was a teacher who cared about her students and was a light in their lives. 

“Ms. Callie Brown was one of the strongest toughest women I knew,” Skeide said. “I would not have gotten close to getting my cosmetology license if it wasn’t for her and the cosmetology program at Willis High School. Ms. Brown never failed to make me smile or laugh when I needed it most. I will cherish every memory I have made with you for the rest of my life. I will see you again in heaven.”