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Head of Ithaca schools talks leadership during crisis

In the latest edition of the award-winning “All Things Equal” weekly radio show, host Gary Stewart discussed leadership during a time of crisis with Luvelle Brown, superintendent of the Ithaca City School District.

Gary Stewart, associate vice president for community relations, hosts the 600th episode of “All Things Equal” in April 2019 at Cayuga Radio Group with guests Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick ’09, left, and Ithaca City School District Superintendent Luvelle Brown.

The episode comes as the world is in the grips of the COVID-19 pandemic. Brown is one of many school district heads who’ve had to navigate uncharted waters – with school closure, virtual learning and caring for students beyond the classroom – and he was asked by Stewart what advice he’s received regarding leadership in a crisis.

“The advice I always come back to was given to me by my mother,” Brown said. “She said, ‘When there’s a crisis, the person you truly are is revealed.’ You can cover up when times are good, but when times are tough, that’s who you are.

“And it’s not ‘What will you do?’” he said, “but ‘Who will you be?’”

Brown said he’s received thousands of emails from people asking what they can do to help, and he’s encouraged them to “focus on yourself and your family. That’s important right now.”

Stewart, Cornell’s associate vice president for community relations, hosts the weekly show and podcast along with Kate Supron, campus community liaison, and Susan Riley, deputy director of community relations. “All Things Equal” airs Tuesdays at 8:35 a.m. on WHCU radio (870 AM), and is available for download on the WHCU podcasts site.

– Tom Fleischman

Media Contact

Abby Butler