District mourns passing of beloved LHS Principal Mr. James Brewer


It is with deep sadness that Longview ISD announces the sudden passing of Mr. James Brewer, Principal of Longview High School. 

Mr. Brewer passed away Monday evening after experiencing a sudden cardiac event. His untimely departure has left the entire Lobo community in shock and mourning.

An exceptional leader, mentor, and friend to all who knew him, Mr. Brewer dedicated his life to education and was preparing to start his 17th year at Longview High School. 

Longview High School will be providing counseling services and support to students and staff to help them cope with this tragic event. Details regarding memorial arrangements and ways to honor Mr. Brewer's memory will be communicated in the coming days.

"The legacy of Mr. James Brewer will forever remain a guiding light at Longview Independent School District," said Dr. James Wilcox, LISD Superintendent. "James will be remembered as an outstanding educator, a compassionate leader, and a cherished member of our community. His spirit will live on in the hearts and minds of those he touched throughout his remarkable career."

Mr. James Brewer was born Jan. 8, 1958, in Magnolia, Arkansas. He was the third of seven children, raised by their mother Earnestine.

A 1976 graduate of Magnolia High School, Mr. Brewer graduated four years later from Southern Arkansas State with a Bachelor's degree in Education. He also received Master's Degree in Education from Texas A&M-Commerce. 

During his 40 years in Texas education, Mr. Brewer served nearly 30 years as an administrator, including 10 years as Superintendent of DeKalb Independent School District. In 2007, he moved to Longview to become Assistant Superintendent of Secondary Education and Principal at Longview High, later serving East Texas Advanced Academies (ETAA) as interim Executive Director. 

LHS alum and ETAA board member Rev. LaDarian Brown described Mr. Brewer as "an impossible man to replace," in several remarks he shared on behalf of the entire ETAA board, including Mr. Judson Murray, and Dr. Selwyn E. Willis

"The trust and gravitas Mr. James Brewer held in this community are almost unfathomable. He had earned respect, confidence, and admiration through many years of fair treatment, consistent judgment, and even temperament toward students, parents, administrators, coaches, as well as band directors, secretaries, food service personnel, and others. He possessed a God-given talent for understanding exactly what a person, whether student or teacher, needed to get back on track. Those who listened and heeded his advice benefited and thrived from his wisdom."

"Mr. James Brewer was blessed with a depth of common sense that eludes most of us. He knew when to give a pat on the back at the right time, when to provide a swift kick in the pants to prevent slowing down, and when to speak the unvarnished truth when a path became crooked. Additionally, he had a firm yet fair hand with discipline when it was necessary. These everyday victories were where he truly excelled."

"For East Texas Advanced Academies, we are heartbroken and bereft. For the Longview Independent School District, an icon has been lost—a figure as close to irreplaceable as most can comprehend. The children of Longview will be lesser for not having known this towering figure of integrity, fairness, judgment, and wisdom."

"Heaven has gained another angel: Mr. James Brewer."

“I worked with Mr. Brewer for 16 years,” said Coach John King, LHS athletic director and head football coach. “Great memories watching him run this high school and be able to relate to everyone, whether it’s parents, students, or at-risk kids. He took care of everybody. He was so loved by everybody he came in touch with.”

“What you saw from him, you saw every day,” he continued. “I was amazed with how he would handle any situation or problem I would call him with. He was always about doing what’s right. I’ve never been around a man that’s more fair and willing to help kids in any situation, because he always told me that there was someone that helped him. He saw every kid as a little James Brewer that was looking for a break. That’s how he treated everybody.”

A longtime member and deacon at Galilee Baptist Church in Longview, Mr. Brewer served his local community as well as the education professional in various capacities, including the UIL Legislation committee, the Longview chapter of the NAACP, and was a board member of the Southern Arkansas University Alumni Association. 

Among the many awards and accolades Mr. Brewer earned during his professional career are Superintendent of the Year, Principal of the Year, and Coach of the Year.

"Our thoughts and prayers will be with the Brewer family during this difficult time," added Dr. Wilcox. "We ask that the community respect their privacy as they grieve this tremendous loss."