The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.
-Mr. Bradburn Steps into Principal Position
Many community members, teachers, and students must wonder as the third West Central High School principal begins his first year if he is going to be able to lead the North End building to its long awaited path of success.
Yet after interviewing him at his table in his office-a table specifically set apart from his desk for meetings with students, teachers, and parents alike-I could not help but wonder if West Central High School and the community is ready for him.
Mr. Bradburn was born in Spirit Lake, Iowa in 1970. He graduated from Pekin Community HS in 1988 and from Western Illinois University with a Bachelor of Science in Education and a Masters in Education Leadership.
He is married to Denise, and has two children: Hannah, 13, and Luke 9, all of whom reside in Galesburg.
The most exotic place he has ever traveled is New Orleans, Louisiana, and Gloucester, Massachusetts where he went whale watching. After the details we preceded to the more pertinent topics:
Best way to get on his good side: Give effort. Meet him halfway and he will not let you fail. "We [the high school] will not be satisfied with a student failing. [I will] never give up on a kid."
As Mr. Bradburn's mantra, that is the foundation of a policy that is always focused first and foremost on the students.
"The question at the beginning and end of every discussion I have with teachers will be, "Is what we are doing, best for the kids?'"
Favorite saying: (other than his mantra) "Do not be afraid to innovate. Do not be scared of innovation."
Mr. Bradburn views teaching not as a job but rather as a practice-something that is constantly changing and that challenges those who have dedicated their careers to consistently reflect and find new and better ways to reach and educate their students.
Goals for the school year: At a social level, he wants to meet and get to know as many people as possible within the district and community. As he said multiple times throughout the interview, "I'm a people person! Very extroverted!"
He wants to engage in more rigorous curriculum so as to prepare the students for a successful life after high school and he plans on making that a reality by bringing in comprehensive use of student achievement data and classroom information to improve classroom instruction.
His #1 goal? To cultivate an atmosphere and culture of achievement, excitement, and learning within the high school.
Rather than walk away saying good luck to this new principal, I shook his hand, shook my head, and thought, "Now this will be an exciting year to watch!"
As the school year quickly approaches, I would strongly encourage you-go meet Mr. Bradburn.
The excitement and energy he is bringing to the table is quite contagious. With the support and backing of the school, students, teachers, administration, and community, the high school will most definitely be a hopping place.