Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Orange Park History Teacher Wins State Excellence In Education Award

Lakeside Junior High

In honor of Black History Month, Florida Gov. Rick Scott honored outstanding teachers and students Wednesday at his mansion in Tallahassee.

One recipient of the state Excellence in Education Award was Clay County history teacher David Bradley. The Lakeside Junior High eighth-grade teacher was one of three taking home the honor and $1,500.

“Other people see that I really care because I take a personal interest in my students,” Bradley says.

He’s been named his school’s Teacher of the Year before, and he says his assistant principal nominated him this time. A former Marine, he says he feels like the first line of defense in his eighth-grade students’ lives. And that involves a lot more than following a curriculum.

“It’s also up to us just to mentor our students and just, you know, to be that shoulder for our students so they know that when they leave the house that they’re coming to a safe environment and an environment where people really care about them,” he says.

He says he always greets his students in the morning and takes time to chat with them outside in the courtyard about how they’re doing.

Teachers are nominated for the Black History Month awards by their peers, students or school administrators.

Jessica Palombo supervises local news gathering and production, podcasts and web editorial content for WJCT News, ADAPT and Jacksonville Today. She is an award-winning writer and journalist with bylines including NPR, Experience Magazine, and The Gainesville Sun. She has a master’s degree in broadcast and digital journalism from Syracuse University and is an alumna of the University of Florida. A nearly lifelong resident of Jacksonville, she considers herself lucky to be raising her own children in her hometown. Follow Jessica Palombo on Twitter: @JaxJessicaP