De Soto band director is awarded teacher of the year

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Lisa Daniels

De Soto band director Matt Bradford walks alongside the DHS Marching Wildcats on Sept 7, 2018.

Erin Pickert, Staff Reporter

Matt Bradford, fine arts teacher at De Soto High School, was recently named DHS building teacher of the year by a committee made up of other DHS teachers and administrators.

Bradford teaches a wide variety of courses at DHS, such as Concert Band, Symphonic Band, Music Theory, AP Music Theory, Percussion Ensemble, History of Rock and Roll, Applied Instrumental Music and Jazz Band in past years. His talent for teaching was evident early in his life. Since Bradford was in high school himself, he began teaching fellow students in private lessons. In college, he continued to teach private lessons with students one-on-one.

Bradford claims the favorite part of teaching, which drew him back to it again years later, has to be the students.

“I really like the interactions and the fun goofiness of it a lot,” Bradford said.

Yet, Bradford wasn’t always in the teaching business. He took a break to play music professionally.

“I wanted to get it out of my system [playing music professionally] when I was young. [The] problem is that I was away from my family and my wife,” Bradford said. “When we were first married, for the first several years, I was just gone a lot. And playing live wasn’t as exciting as I thought it was.”

Bradford then decided to go back to school to continue teaching.

“I still wanted to do music because I love music, and I love people, so it was kind of a perfect thing for me,” Bradford said

From then, Bradford stuck with music education for twenty three years.

Bradford’s long time dedication to music and his students has not gone unnoticed by the De Soto community.