Mr. Bradford Has All of the T E A

Rachael Jarman, Staff Writer

I talked to Mr. Bradford to ask him about some things. I wanted to know his opinions on certain topics with this school and how being a principal is for him. Mr. Bradford admitted how much he loves this school. He made some great responses with good reasoning, and he was also really nice about it.

I asked Mr. Bradford, “How does being a principal affect your personal life? Does being a principal limit your time with family?” He responded first with: “The time commitment of a high school principal can definitely take time away from family.” He also mentioned that, luckily, all 3 of his daughters “are on the Heritage campus, and they are all involved in many different activities.” His daughters being at the school and  involved in activities at this school makes it much easier for him to still see them even when he’s working and doing his job. 

“Why did you want to work at a school?” I asked Principal Bradford. He replied, “I’ve been interested in education since I was in high school. I love learning, and I enjoy sharing that love of learning with others.” Mr. Bradford seems to me to be very passionate about this school and his job. When he was in high school, he said that he “joined the ‘Sage Club’ for future teachers.” He and the rest of the group had the opportunity to “tutor elementary students and to take over a high school class to teach for the day.” His experience of that, along with him “teaching swim lessons and working as a camp counselor, helped to steer” him towards education. 

“Do the students ever bother you? How do you feel about most of the kids at this school and their behavior?” I was kind of surprised by what he replied with: “Students at Heritage High are relatively well-behaved, and I’m not bothered by student behavior often.” He then started talking about how “some teenagers make mistakes or bad choices” and how they “‘own’ their choices and are honest about their mistakes.” He is right about some kids being that way, but a lot, not only kids but adults too, “try to avoid responsibility for their actions and blame others.” So many people do that; he could not be more right about that! 

“What needs to be changed or made better at this school?” Mr. Bradford admitted that there were several things that he would like to improve at this school. He said, “I would really like to see students make the choice to attend tutoring sessions during lunch when they realize that they need help or don’t understand something.” A lot of teenagers just don’t go to tutoring, more than likely because they simply just don’t want to. Personally, I understand why they feel that way, but sometimes you have to do things that you don’t want to do in life. Life doesn’t always go the way that you want it to. Another thing that Principal Bradford wants is for students to “make better choices regarding vaping.” Vaping has become a big problem for the workers at this school, and they are worried about students: they don’t want students’ health to be destroyed. Heritage is the type of school where the people that work there really care about the students. Mr. Bradford is really excited to see what the teachers and other workers continue to improve in the future.

Mr. Bradford mentioned a few plans for next year at this school. “We are going to try and develop more programs like ‘Mechatronics’ with Georgia NW Tech College.” He mentioned something new that Catoosa is planning, a “College and Career” Academy which “will be located on the campus.”

Principal Bradford greatly appreciates how hard most of the teachers work at this school. “There are so many teachers who work long hours at school and then go home and grade papers or plan lessons.” He also mentioned how hard coaches work on campus and how teachers devote their time to make extra-curricular activities possible. “It would be difficult to find faculty members,” he said, “who put in more time than our band director, Mr. Blair Callaway, or our art teacher/musical director/soccer coach/Jelly Club sponsor, Ms. Lauren Peters, or our head custodian, Mr. Curtis Lones.”

Mr. Bradford has plans and a lot of positive opinions of everyone at Heritage High. He is always looking for improvements and seeing what can be better at this school. He highly appreciates all of the hard working students and workers at Heritage High and is hoping that doesn’t change.