We are thrilled to announce that the Horseshoe Prairie Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) unanimously selected University High School history instructor Chris Bradley as the winner of the 2020 NSDAR Outstanding Teacher of American History award.

Mr. Bradley now advances on to the state competition, and, if selected as Indiana’s nominee in January, will be up for the national award. Regardless of the state and national decisions, the Hoosier Prairie Chapter will acknowledge Mr. Bradley’s achievement as chapter winner with a ceremony this spring at University High School.

Here are excerpts from the recommendation letters written by current and former University High School students of Mr. Bradley’s.

“My first class that I ever attended at University High School was Chris Bradley’s AP United States History class. As a student who transferred to University High School in search of thoughtful classes and meaningful discussion, I sat there in amazement. This person was exactly the type of teacher for whom I had been searching. He captivated the class not only with his humor, but with his knowledge and energy in the class.” – senior Stella Behforouz

“Mr. Bradley teaches his students to be critical thinkers, who are able to, as he puts it, ‘see the nuances and gray areas.’ For example, during our unit on World War II, our discussion extended beyond the immediate effects of American involvement to the contemporary military and international presence of the U.S. In a time when facts are malleable, it is particularly incumbent to look further than superficial narratives, and with discussions like these, Mr. Bradley challenges students to draw connections between past and present in their analysis.” – Jonathan Wiersema (’17)

“I was always impressed with Mr. Bradley’s firm grasp of the material being covered on both a factual and analytic level. He was never content to simply know that an event occurred or that someone had done a remarkable achievement, but wanted to understand why and how events occurred as they did. Moreover, this focus on obtaining a deeper comprehension of trends and reasons in the past was not simply Mr. Bradley’s alone, as he expected each of his students to be able to reach beyond simply knowledge into the realm of understanding.” – Alex Brinkman (’18)

“He frequently shares seemingly random tidbits of historical knowledge. While we discuss and question the tidbit, we suddenly become invested in its relevance to current events and class materials. In short, he never makes lessons seem like a recitation of fact but rather a discussion of discovery.” – senior Mary Rozembajgier

“The energy that he brought to every class combined with his unfathomably detailed knowledge of the subject made Mr. Bradley one of the most interesting teachers I’ve ever had the pleasure of listening to.” – Ethan Bandick (’19)

This award was presented in conjunction with the chapter’s 50th anniversary, which includes a year-long celebration and numerous events.

Congratulations to Mr. Bradley!