The student news site of Carroll Senior High School

Dragon Media

The student news site of Carroll Senior High School

Dragon Media

The student news site of Carroll Senior High School

Dragon Media

A Conversation with Mrs. Natalie Brown

Carroll’s Dragon Media teacher reflects on her path from journalism to education

Q: Starting off, what do you teach here at Carroll?

A: So, I teach Principles of A/V Communications, Commercial Photography/yearbook, Advanced Journalism/newspaper and I help out with sports media and KDGN.


Q: Did you always want to be a media teacher?

A: I actually never thought I was going to be a teacher. My mom is a teacher and I always would see her bringing home papers to grade and talking about her students, and I was like “Oh my gosh why would you do that.” Then I went to college and studied journalism and worked in the industry for four or five years, and my last couple of years in journalism I was working as a public relations specialist for Keller ISD. In that job I got to see what was going on on campuses, and it was my first time being in high schools that were really big and had very robust journalism programs and so seeing that that was an option and an opportunity was really exciting. So, I decided to go back and get my masters and started teaching journalism, and I’ve just kind of never looked back. It was absolutely the right choice for me.


Q: When you worked as a journalist what kind of things did you do?

A: So, right after graduation I got an internship at Southern Living magazine, which was based in Birmingham, Alabama, and I got to work in their travel department and that was really cool to get to shadow their reporters and photographers and go out on assignment and see the different things that they were covering. That was a really great lesson for me because they photograph a year out, and they cover stories that far out, so that they’re really giving their readers an exact look at what traveling to that location is like at that time. So, I interned, and they were on a hiring freeze, so I started applying for jobs and ended up out here in Texas because I have family in Flower Mound. I worked for a small community newspaper that was actually covering Southlake. It was the Southlake Times and my job as the community editor was to cover everything that was happening in the community except for sports, we had our own sports editor, and so I went to school board meetings and city council meetings and interviewed people, and it was a lot of fun. I really enjoyed doing that because my favorite thing about journalism is learning new things all the time and not having a day that’s the same as the day before. I really enjoyed doing that, but it’s long hours, and it was not a lot of money, and it was something that I just wasn’t quite sure where I wanted to go with that. After that, I worked for American Airlines custom publishing for a little while. I worked with them on helping manage writers and advertising and stuff with them, and then I ended up in public relations and that was kind of my sweet spot of being able to help write speeches, cover stories, do some photography; I really enjoyed that.


Q: So, now that you’ve switched to being a teacher, have you been liking it so far?

A: I have. I really didn’t think I would love teaching as much as I do if I didn’t get the opportunity to be creative with newspaper/yearbook/broadcast. Having the opportunity to work with kids for an extended period of time on something that we get to do together is really my absolute favorite part. I think if I just taught and didn’t experience that part I would have probably moved on to something else by now, but I really enjoy the relationships that I get to have. Especially being able to teach kids for four years, I mean, if they stick with me from freshman year on just being able to see that growth and, you know, just watching kind of their lives unfold and getting to be a part of that is really a privilege that I enjoy. So yeah, I still feel like I’ve made the right choice, and I really enjoy it.

Having the opportunity to work with kids for an extended period of time on something that we get to do together is really my absolute favorite part.

Q: Do you have any like favorite experience or memory from teaching?

A: Oh my goodness, a lot of the best memories I have come from when we’re here working late at night on yearbook deadlines or when we’re in a crunch time trying to get something ready to go and just seeing when things come together in a way that you just didn’t think it was going to work out. When you’ve been striving and striving for something, and you just have this vision but just don’t think it’s going to come through and then all of a sudden it just works out and seeing that kind of magic happen with a group of people is kind of my favorite part. And the travel opportunities we’ve gotten. To go to national and state conferences to interact with journalism staffs from across the country; that’s been really cool to see. And when I can still stay in touch with kids years and years down the road; when I get a wedding invitation or a note that says “Hey, I’m going to law school” or “Hey, I just overheard somebody say something that reminded me of you” and they Send me an Instagram message or something–that’s what I enjoy. It’s just the relationships.


Q: I noticed you have a lot of Broadway posters around your room. What’s your favorite musical?

A: That depends on my mood. Honestly, I love Broadway musicals. I love the storytelling aspect of the different visuals and then the musical elements. I wish that I could sing or dance in any way like they can, but I just think “Mean Girls” is so clever and entertaining for people that even may not love musicals. I think it’s one that a lot of people could get on board with, but one of my favorite experiences was seeing “Waitress” on Broadway because Sara Bareilles is one of my favorite singer/songwriters, and those tickets were actually gifted to me by a former student. She knew that I loved Sara Bareilles, and when she found out that she was going to take on that role for a brief amount of time she contacted me and said “Hey, I have tickets I want to give them to you, would you be able to go?” and, not only was it like a wonderful surprise, they were third row tickets so that was just, I mean, an absolutely unexpected gift. That was really cool.


Q: That’s really sweet. Do you have any kids that attend Carroll?

A: I do. I have two daughters. I have a freshman and a fifth grader, and my youngest will end up being a Kindergrad because when I started here, she was in preschool, and then my older kiddo was in second grade. They’ve had great experiences here. I’ve been really lucky to be able to have my kids in the district where I teach. I think it’s a real privilege and getting to know their teachers and being a part of the system together–I’ve really enjoyed that. My ninth grader says that she’s going to take my yearbook class next year, so that will be a whole different ball game.


Q: So, you also have a pretty extensive Funko Pop collection, right?

A: Yes, lots and lots of Disney and random TV references. I have my Stranger Things and Hamilton, but a lot of them are Little Mermaid because I kind of grew into a Disney adult. I never thought that I would, but I’ve always loved The Little Mermaid, and then Mrs. Randall and I became friends. I guess we’ve been friends for about 14 years now; we met when we taught together at Central, and she’s a very busy person. She got me into running, and we’ve done some Disney races together, and so I ended up kind of being gifted or collecting the little Funko Pops and stuff. And they’re great props for when we’re learning photography; we use those to learn, you know, aperture and all of that stuff, so it’s fun.


Q: Building on that type of relationship–how is it teaching and collaborating with Mrs. Jacobson?

A: Oh my gosh, that has been amazing. When I moved in across the hall from her when I started teaching, she was still teaching English and being the StuCo advisor, and I did not have a great relationship with the StuCo advisor at my old school, but so much of what student council does overlaps with what yearbook has to do, with the knowledge of the campus and being really involved, and so, when we got to be neighbors, and we got to know each other, that was really wonderful. And then having her come over and be a part of Dragon Media with KDGN and Sports Media has been incredible. She is so organized and on top of things, and I’ve learned a ton from her about, you know, leadership and organization and the contacts that she has within Carroll ISD being a Carroll alum herself. That’s been awesome; collaboration is my favorite thing ever. I think I’m a much better teacher when I have somebody to bounce ideas off of, and so I think that working together has just been incredible. The kids that have her for KDGN and Sports Media really don’t realize how lucky they are to have somebody of her caliber.

More to Discover
About the Contributor
Katherine Morosova
Katherine is a junior at Carroll Senior High School and a first year member of Dragon Media. She loves reading and writing and hopes to experiment with different types of journalism. Outside of school, she loves playing soccer, listening to music, watching Netflix, and FaceTiming her friends.