Brad Gannon always knew he wanted to be a teacher. In fact, he started his track to teaching in 10th grade, and by his senior year in high school, he was spending hours in lower elementary school classrooms each and every day.
And, while his path has changed from outdoor education (you’ll read more about that later), he’s always been in an educational environment - currently as a career and technical education teacher at Ecker Hill Middle School. The exceptions, of course, are those school breaks - that’s when he hits the road to travel, explore white-water raft, and trail run.
When school is in session, however, he’s there, hands-on, teaching college and career awareness to *every single* 7th grader in our district. He also teaches an exploring technology course - and loves working with students at this age because they are so curious and inquisitive.
A huge part of what he enjoys about teaching is providing options and opportunities to students. There are pathways for those who are headed to college - and pathways for those who want to graduate high school with skills to immediately enter the workforce.
We sat down with Brad for this month’s Teacher Spotlight.
1) Where are you from?
Cleveland, Ohio - Midwest
2) How did you start as a teacher?
My education as a teacher actually started in 10th grade, through our CTE department and Polaris Career Center. I was involved in the Teaching Professions program throughout my senior year. Junior year I shadowed teachers throughout my high school and Senior year I was teaching/shadowing in classrooms at the elementary and middle school.
3) What/who inspired you to be a teacher?
My mother taught second grade for 35 years, and her experience inspired me to become an educator. I have also always needed something to do, whether it was a craft or a project. This need led me to find Career and Technical Education. Working in CTE allows me to experiment and try new things and it keeps me young. I did not have any of these classes throughout my middle school education.
4) What values guide your work?
Creativity, achievements, and leisure.
5) How long have you been a teacher? How long in PCSD? What grades/classes have you taught?
I’ve spent 5 years teaching with the district, currently teaching 7th-grade College and Career Awareness - teaching every 7th-grade student. I also teach 7th-grade Exploring Technology, which is an elective course.
6) Why Park City?
Mountain town and skiing! I moved to Utah to ski, and living in the Park City community provides so many amazing things including trails, ski resorts, restaurants, and other recreational opportunities.
6) Best thing about teaching in Park City School District?
Our students, teachers, and community are active! Having an active lifestyle improves your overall health and well-being. This is related to my experience as an experiential educator.
9) Best day or moment or part about teaching?
The best part about working with middle-school-aged students is their curiosity and wonder. They are still so inquisitive and interested in the world around them. It is fun teaching a subject that most students are not familiar with.
9) What does PCEF mean to you?
To me, PCEF is supporting not only our school district but our whole community, by providing funding and amazing education opportunities that would not be possible otherwise. It takes a community to raise a child, and the Foundation is a critical component.
No kids yet. Just one energetic border collie lab mix. He loves to run and chase his frisbee.
I love to run (long distances) and really enjoy skiing or snowboard in the winter. I also enjoy the backcountry and Skimo (Ski Mountaineering) races throughout the Wasatch.
12) Degrees and credentials/endorsements
B.S in Technology Education, M. Ed. Thesis Based - Hydroponics, ESL Endorsement
Finishing Computer Science Endorsement.
13) Anything else you'd like to add? Anyone you'd like to acknowledge or thank?
My wife Megan for being so understanding with the long hours that I spend at school some days. I also would like to thank my parents for supporting me in my dreams and ambitions.