Bradford C. Engel
2005 Maryland Teacher of the Year
Bradford Engel, a social studies teacher at Kent Island High School in Queen Anne's County, has been named the 2005 Maryland Teacher of the Year. He attended the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) part time beginning in 1982 while working full-time as a teacher and counselor for the Baltimore Association of Retarded Citizens. He graduated from UMBC in 1989 with a degree in American Studies and Secondary Education. He did graduate work at Shenandoah University and began a public school teaching career in August of 1989 with the Queen Anne's County School System earning his Advanced Professional Certificate from the Maryland State Department of Education in 1999.
Engel has been teaching at Kent Island High School for the past 15 years. He is currently the Social Studies Department Chair and Leadership Development Coordinator at the school, serving on the School Improvement Team and chairing the Middle States Steering Committee. He is currently in the process of formulating a program entitled "TEAM" (Teaching Excellence Across Maryland), which would recognize an outstanding teacher daily throughout the State of Maryland.
As coordinator of the school-wide Mentor Advisory Program, Engel supervises 100 student leaders who facilitate lessons in monthly advisory sessions. These are designed to increase student achievement and success. In 2003, he wrote and published "The Four Challenges of Leadership," approved for use as the textbook in this unique high school leadership program. During his fifteen years in the classroom he has developed and expanded a method of teaching called "Opportunity Leadership". It states that every moment of our lives presents a unique opportunity dynamic in which any person can have a positive impact on another person.
Engel attributes much of his success to the respect he gives his students, as well as his belief in their potential. "To have a positive impact on the lives of students every day and to work to bring dignity to their lives has been my most rewarding opportunity in teaching," he said. "It is exciting to guide students into an expanded awareness of life's possibilities and to help them understand that each one of them adds a great value to the world."
Brad says "becoming a father introduced me to the deepest kind of love. There is nothing more powerful than the love a parent has for his/her child. And there is nothing more painful than seeing your child suffer. My philosophy of teaching is simple. I treat all children like they were my own. I also strive to teach my students to love their parents as much as they can. I give extra credit to students who go home and tell their mom or their dad that they love them or they do extra chores around the house without being asked. Proactive citizenship begins at home. I don't know of a more important lesson."
President George W. Bush and Laura Bush congratulate 2005 Maryland Teacher of the Year Brad Engel in the Oval Office Wednesday, April 20, 2005.
White House photo by Eric Draper