Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

He Educated the Individual

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

He Educated the Individual

Article excerpt

John Bradley was a towering figure at Wayne Hills High School -- and not just because, at 6 feet 8, he towered over the rest of the faculty.

The affable Mr. Bradley, who died on Monday at 71, taught geography and coached cross-country and girls basketball. He also announced football games and officiated track.

He began his career at Wayne High School, now Wayne Valley, in 1964. He moved to the newly opened Wayne Hills two years later and retired in 2000.

"John figured out before anybody that teaching isn't about curriculum and homework and tests; it's about the individual child," said Hack Miller, a Wayne Hills colleague and Mr. Bradley's eulogist.

"He'd start with a few jokes and local gossip, segue into geography and before they knew it, they were learning."

Teaching an elective, Mr. Bradley presided over a classroom of all abilities -- from honors students to those just getting by. "When you teach an elective, you have to reach everybody," Miller said. "John knew how."

In online tributes, Mr. Bradley's former students described an unforgettable teacher, coach and mentor.

"Made the halls of Hills light up with that great smile and laugh," said a member of the Class of 1973.

"Taught us a lot about life," a 1975 grad said. "Can still picture him changing the oil on his old car during cross-country practice as if it were yesterday! Gotta love the guy."

And from a member of the Class of 1995:

"Mr. Bradley made going to school fun and exciting. ... I remember all the jokes he would tell. I remember all the maps that we used to color code for homework. I remember him throwing someone's 1 lb. of flour out the window because he was snoring in class (we had to carry the flour around as a school project). ..."

Mr. Bradley and his wife, Judy, who taught French at Wayne Valley, were locally famous for their spring break school trips. …

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