Anchors Away, Kaylynn Browne

By Samantha Pigott

No matter where you are born and where you live, the first 18 years of life are filled with growth, change, and excitement. Kaylynn Chapman Browne has certainly had her share. When Kaylynn arrived in Berryville 12 years ago, it started with a weeklong summer visit with her Great Aunt Beth and Uncle Ellis Chapman.

A week turned into a month and month into the summer, and by the end of the summer it was obvious Clarke County was where Kaylynn belonged. Guardianship was granted to Beth and Ellis. They were thrilled to have a daughter after the youngest of their four boys had just graduated high school. That nest wasn’t empty for long.

Kaylynn was a great student. She always achieved straight As, and school seemed to come easy for her. Soon her Aunt and Uncle had her enrolled in Tae Kwon Do. Jumping all in, they signed the Black Belt contract, and Kaylynn earned her Black Belt by age 13.

In the summer following her freshman year at Clarke County High School, Kaylynn decided she would try tennis the following spring. She worked hard learning the sport over the summer and fall. After a lot of hard work, she made the team as a sophomore.

The end of that school year Kaylynn applied to the very competitive Mountain Ridge Governor’s School and was accepted. That added a very new and demanding level of academic rigor. 

Fast forward to senior year and Kaylynn started in the Number 2 spot on the tennis team. This season has been a remarkable one. For the first time in Coach Schulhoff’s 30-year tenure, the team qualified for regionals. At the time of this writing, they are preparing to play for the state championship. 

Kaylynn applied to several colleges, and was accepted by most of them. However, since entering Governor’s School, her interests have changed considerably. Four years ago she “knew” she was going to be a dermatologist; now has done a 180-degree swing to an engineering path. Her change in academic focus, along with calculating the costs involved in a traditional education, left her with some pretty strong second thoughts about entering college. Her Aunt (being from a military family) took her to meet with military recruiters. After talking to the Air Force and the Army, the Navy won out. Kaylynn realized that serving her country was where she was being called. She has been recruited to the Navy’s Nuclear Propulsion training program and is currently waiting for MEPS date.