Michele Brown moved to Summerlin 24 years ago and started working as a counselor at Palo Verde High School a few years after it opened. To say she loves her school and her community is an understatement. Equally passionate about both, Brown is particularly proud of Palo Verde’s five-star rating, which she explains is very difficult to achieve in a public, non-magnet school with a large student population.
“Luckily, we have amazing leadership with over 61 ways kids can earn college credit,” Brown said. “Added to that is our talented and dedicated staff, students and parents and our International Baccalaureate program which is almost like having a private school within a public school. It’s a program that offers a rigorous curriculum and includes community service projects that gets kids thinking about global issues and encourages them to act in a local way. It’s amazing to watch what students accomplish each year in this program.”
Brown, who raised her three adult children here, was initially attracted to Summerlin because of its focus on family and a strong sense of community. “Summerlin was in its infancy when I moved here, but I was confident its master plan included everything that was important to me: parks, schools and community amenities like the library. I was sold. Growing up, my kids played every sport imaginable, from t-ball, baseball, soccer, football, dance and cheer. Looking back, I feel like we all grew up with Summerlin,” she said. “And what a fantastic ride it’s been.”
Brown recalls the very first Summerlin Patriotic Parade when she and her neighbors and their kids would decorate their bikes and throw out candy to a handful of other neighbors who would sit on the sidewalk. “Today, more than 50,00 people attend and we marvel at the amazing floats and performances. The Parade’s evolution is a good analogy for how the community has also grown and thrived.”
You could say Summerlin is a family affair for Brown whose twin sons, Austin and Cameron, live just two minutes away. Her brother and sister-in-law live up the street; and her niece and family live nearby. Daughter Erika lives and works in California, but Brown considers the short one-hour plane ride a blessing, making it easy and convenient for frequent visits.
Brown, who says she doesn’t leave Summerlin unless it’s to travel outside the state, says a typical week includes all the things she loves about the community: hiking at Red Rock Canyon; walking her dog; taking her niece and nephew to the library; eating and drinking at Downtown Summerlin; and visiting with friends and family.
“Just when I couldn’t imagine life in Summerlin getting any better, we got the Vegas Golden Knights at City National Arena and the Las Vegas Aviators at Las Vegas Ballpark! What’s not to love?,” she said.
“It gives me great comfort and joy to know my kids, my family and future grandkids will have the opportunity to enjoy Summerlin’s beauty and its remarkable sense of community for years to come,” said Brown. “Like Palo Verde’s five-star rating, it’s easy to give Summerlin high marks. For the Brown family, the community is definitely five-star!”