The day Brian Schrader found out he was nominated for Educator of the Year, he was having a really bad day. He instantly thanked God for the uplifting news and thought how cool it was to be recognized as a good teacher, especially since he wasn’t formally trained as an educator. His background as a youth pastor and his passion for the Bible made him a great fit 15 years ago to teach students more about God’s word at New Life Academy.
Now, Dr. Schrader has built a career on “teaching students the love of Jesus Christ by using the Bible and by living out [God’s] instructions in my life so that students see Jesus.” Dr. Schrader considers it a huge honor that he gets to spend every day teaching the Bible. This year, Dr. Schrader teaches Intro to Bible, Christian Thought, and Worldviews.
June DaCosta, a New Life parent, nominated Dr. Schrader for Educator of the Year, through the Woodbury Chamber of Commerce, because “his gift is relationships and the love and passion for what he teaches is evident.” And building relationships with students is what Dr. Schrader is really all about. “I am a relational adult who has the heart for the Bible and wants to see kids get a hold of it. And I do that in a teaching setting,” Dr. Schrader explains. Whether it’s passing time or FLEX time, there are students constantly stopping by to talk to Dr. Schrader about issues they’re dealing with or big-picture things, like their purpose in life. In the classroom, Dr. Schrader often walks around and talks to his students about what they’re working on or sometimes just to talk and check-in.
His investment in his students and his genuine interest in their lives has paid off. Caden, class of 2020, spoke about the impact Dr. Schrader had on his life: “Dr. Schrader was one of my favorite teachers. He has had an incredible impact on my faith and the way I think. His wisdom and ability to be a friend and a mentor at the same time is something incredibly special.”
One of the criteria for selecting the Educator of the Year is their “ability to inspire students of all backgrounds and abilities to reach their full potential.” It’s clear from the many relationships Dr. Schrader has formed over the years that he has done an excellent job of connecting with students and deepening their faith. Educator of the Year is announced this Friday at the 2021 Virtual Community Awards Gala. Good luck Dr. Schrader! You are more than deserving of the award.
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