Southeast High School's ReChad Bradley named 2017 Educator of the Year


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (May 10, 2017) - ReChad Bradley, a mathematics teacher at Southeast High School, is the 2017 Springfield (Illinois) Public Schools - Horace Mann Educator of the Year. The announcement marked the 30th consecutive year for this teacher recognition program in the hometown of Horace Mann’s headquarters. Horace Mann has sponsored and supported the program since its inception.

“I try to let my students be themselves,” said Bradley about his teaching philosophy. “I don’t like to put any boundaries on what they can do. I want them to be who they are and connect with them over time.”

Bradley thanked his parents and many others, who he said “pushed and pulled” him along his journey as an educator. “I think that’s what we do for everybody. You just don’t know it. You’re always guiding, pushing and pulling and getting the kids to where they belong.”

Five finalists for the Educator of the Year Award were celebrated for their teaching excellence at a May luncheon, and short video presentations depicted their stories for families and friends before the winner was announced. As the Educator of the Year, ReChad won a crystal owl statue and $1,000. The four other finalists – Trae Cotner of Springfield High School, Linda Daugherty of Carl Sandburg Elementary School, Michele DeLong of Matheny-Withrow Elementary School and Brad Kyes of Springfield High School – each earned a commemorative crystal apple and $250.

Recognition Grows

In 2009, Horace Mann and Springfield Public Schools added the Rising Star award to the annual district-wide recognition program and in 2013 added the Administrator of the Year award.

The 2017 Administrator of the Year is Enos Elementary School Principal Claudia Johnson . She won a plaque and $500. The two finalists, Grant Middle School Guidance Dean Kim Crum and Southeast High School Principal Jason Wind, received a plaque and $250.

The 2017 Rising Stars are Tosha King of Matheny-Withrow Elementary School, Karianna Lauer of Fairview Elementary School and Jennifer Urick of McClernand Elementary School. They each earned a plaque and $250.


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