This author appeared at the 2012 festival. Please view the list of authors appearing at this year's festival or see our suggestions for similar authors below.
When do you decide that it is too late to rescue, let alone save, something? Michael Brick’s Saving the School: The True Story of a Principal, a Teacher, a Coach, a Bunch of Kids, and a Year in the Crosshairs of Education Reform is the story of Anabel Garza, who became principal of Austin’s John H. Reagan High School, once the epitome of grandeur and pride but now facing mandatory closure. With only a year bring up the morale of the student body and also prove qualifying attendance numbers and test scores, Garza had her work cut out for her. A single mom at 16 and widowed by 25, Garza rounded up seven student leaders, four Latinos and three blacks, to brainstorm how to revive Reagan. In the meeting, a discussion arose about the “brown vs. black” war to which Reagan was susceptible (no black kids were on the soccer team and no Latinos were on the football team). Brick captures the day-to-day struggles, giving a ruthless and detailed glimpse of the public school district in Austin, and allows an overview of an educational system that may be failing those it intends to help. Brick was raised in Farmers Branch, Texas and moved to New York City in 1997, where he became a New York Times reporter and sportswriter. He also traversed the continent to write Pushing the Limit, a yearlong series on mountaineering, endurance racing, and other mad pursuits. Brick lives in East Austin with his wife and children.
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