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An Interview with Stukent’s Teacher of the Year: Keith Brady

In 2022, we asked our community to vote for the high school teacher who most deserved to be honored with the 2022 Teacher of the Year Award. Nominees were selected from a large pool of amazing, wonderful educators who are an integral part of Stukent’s mission to help educators help students help the world.

After Stukent tallied thousands of votes, the winner was determined! 

Stukent’s Teacher of the Year is Keith Brady!

ABOUT KEITH BRADY

Keith Brady started as an accountant, moved into teaching, and has been teaching at Pequannock Township High School for the past 15 years. He teaches and or has taught a variety of business education subjects, including accounting, investing, law, sports management, and personal finance. 

STUKENT’S INTERVIEW WITH KEITH

1. What’s your greatest career accomplishment, either as an educator or as an industry professional?

The Stukent Teacher of the Year recognition is very much treasured! Prior to that, I was chosen as my district’s Teacher of the Year in 2012 and was a finalist again in 2018. It isn’t entirely related to the classroom, but I was the assistant coach for our school’s varsity golf program which went undefeated and won a state championship in 2014. Oh, and I won our school’s Faculty Chili Cook-off many years ago — that’s one I’m particularly proud of!

2. What’s your teaching philosophy?

Relationships with students are paramount to good teaching. Content matters, but not nearly as much as relationships. In my 15 years of teaching business education, I have been assigned to courses ranging from accounting, finance, law, and sports management. 

Regardless of the content, I have scores of students who all have the same compliments about my teaching style: they appreciate how much they are shown respect and dignity, as well as afforded the opportunity to be treated like the adults they are striving to become. My students looked forward to coming to my class, knowing that the 46 minutes of their day with me would be worth it. They would give their best, knowing how much they matter to me.

3. What’s most rewarding about being an educator?

You have the opportunity to build lifelong connections with some phenomenal people. I still have meaningful personal and professional connections with students of mine from 15 years ago. They keep me in their lives and I am excited to have them in mine. Some are my friends, my clients, my mentees, my mentors, and even my colleagues. All in all, they are people I am glad to have in my world. The best part of teaching is that a new group enters that world the day after graduation each and every year.

4. What’s one of your favorite teaching memories? 

Going on field trips has been tough the last few years because of COVID, but here’s a short student-generated video of our experience at a New York City trade fair in 2018! 

This class ran a full-scale virtual business on a domestic and international online network. We were one of the most successful East Coast enterprises. We were invited to attend an in-person version of the trading platform, which was a rousing success. The video features a little bit of what the trade fair looked like, some post-event fun, and a well-earned trip for lunch. This was a great group of successful students, so many of whom are already accomplishing amazing things in their personal and professional lives. If you visit their LinkedIn profiles, they are a who’s who of young professionals.

5. What does it mean to you to be awarded Stukent 2022 High School Teacher of the Year? 

I’m an educator who has focused on being genuine and authentic from the very first class I ever taught in September of 2007. Over the course of my 15-year career, I will continue to set a high watermark for what I would adopt in my teaching practice. 

What I’m trying to say is that to be recognized by Stukent — a company that I know and trust to be absolutely aligned with my goals as an educator — it’s a very humbling and invigorating recognition. The organization sees what I have tirelessly worked to bring to my students. At the end of the day, in whatever field we work and whatever causes we champion, I think everyone just wants to be “seen.” Stukent most certainly “sees” me, and those who know me have observed the immense amount of pride Stukent’s recognition has given me.

6. What are your goals as an educator?

When I first started teaching, my goal was to model the best qualities of all my favorite teachers I had when I was a student — the excitement and passion of Señor Hingston, the professionalism and rapport of Mr. Hoffmann, the focus and expertise of Mrs. Hennings. I wanted to exhibit the best of those educators who helped shape and mold me for my future. 

Next, I wanted to make sure I could put my own spin on the impact a classroom teacher can have on students. I want my students to learn how to be kind, empathetic, personable, and responsible; plus, learn how to develop resiliency and understand what it means to be a human in an increasingly difficult world. If you were to ask them if I have accomplished that, I feel as though they would be in resounding agreement that I have. It has set me apart and I know that it makes an impact on our collective future. 

The content I teach is great, but it will always come second to the lessons of the heart. My students know I mean that, and they know I live it as well.

7. What Stukent courseware have you used? 

Mimic Personal Finance — it’s literally the best technological tool I’ve ever used in my classroom! When Mimic Personal Finance came across my desk in the fall of 2019, I knew Stukent could bring something special to my classroom. The simulation was everything that I wanted to be as a teacher: authentic, organic, and engaging. I was so very proud to keep bringing Mimic into my classroom each and every semester as a critical adjunct to my financial literacy coursework. The simulation is literally the centerpiece of the course. 

8. What do you do outside of your classroom?

I play the drums, I’ve recently taken up chess, I love the outdoors (hiking, golf, and disc golf), and I’ve recently taken up gardening

I mentor a lot of former graduates when it comes to their personal financial matters. We meet and talk about how to file their taxes, manage their investments, build a good credit score, and choose the right banking options to meet their needs. I truly enjoy hearing from my former students and am glad to provide advice or perspective on their financial lives — it fuels my passion for finance and helps others achieve their goals.

Thank you, Keith, and congratulations! We are proud to work with incredible educators like you to help students help the world!

CONNECT WITH KEITH BRADY

Instagram: www.instagram.com/mr.keithbrady/ 

Or, www.instagram.com/headingoutwest for hiking and travel photos!

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/bradyfinancial/

TeachersPayTeachers: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Business-World-To-Business-Ed

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