Naperville Central High School's award-winning newspaper.

Central Times

Naperville Central High School's award-winning newspaper.

Central Times

Naperville Central High School's award-winning newspaper.

Central Times

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Social studies teacher wins national award for teaching excellence

Seth+Brady+helps+a+student+during+his+first+period+Humanities+Capstone+class.
Javen Oswald
Seth Brady helps a student during his first period Humanities Capstone class.

Social studies teacher Seth Brady was awarded the 2024 Horace Mann Award for Teaching Excellence on Nov. 6, an award given to five educators annually who have shown constant dedication to the acceleration of student-focused learning.  

Brady was the nominee for the state of Illinois, because of exceptional work throughout the school pushing for student achievement opportunities. He was selected out of a pool of around 50 nominees from various U.S. states and territories. 

Brady worked closely with Central principal Jackie Thornton to help develop the Illinois Global Scholar program and promote both the Humanities and STEM Capstone classes.

“If there’s a core to [the award], it is, figuring out ways to give students more agency over their own learning, so they’re not just receptacles of what teachers give them,” Brady said. “They become like  co-learners, the drivers of their own learning [and the] teacher’s role is more mentor or someone who sits down alongside students figuring out ways to, give more agency to students themselves, and the issues they care about.”

Brady pushed for more student advocacy meaning that he helped students take charge of their own learning to do what they are actually interested in and took extra courses in order to better provide students with the support they needed in the classrooms.

“I’m a comparative religions teacher [and I got] connected with other comparative religions teachers who started to work together to develop lessons that really teach religious literacy outside of a standalone course like comparative religions,” Brady said. 

Brady had gotten multiple different endorsements throughout his career in order to meet his goal of supporting students. These endorsements give him the credentials to help the students. Most recently, Brady endorsed in agriculture to help support the students in the STEM Capstone class.

Brady has participated in statewide summits to educate on student advocacy. He has also organized an annual waterway clean-up in Naperville to promote students’ involvement in the community. 

Brady spearheaded Central’s Peace and Conflict studies class, which has students work on an advocacy project, giving them the passion for their own topics and to do something that they want to incite a change in. 

“[Brady] has so much content knowledge that he’s able to see the big picture of how the pieces fit together, and how he can take a step back and let kids make those connections on their own,” Thornton said. “His classroom is completely student focused in ways that are unique to him.”

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About the Contributors
Vanshika Shahdadpuri, Staff Writer
Vanshika Shahdadpuri is a junior and this is her first year on Central Times. She loves to write basically anything, she usually spends her time writing fiction and recently discovered her love of journalistic writing. In her free time she is usually found reading or listening to music.
Javen Oswald, Marketing, Outreach and Engagement Managing Editor
Javen Oswald is a senior at NCHS. This is his third year on staff, and he has moved into a manager position. Early in life, Javen found success as a child actor, gaining recognition for his role as Young Jordan Denton in Chicago Fire S2 E12, entitled “Disco Bob.” Now, he has shifted his focus to producing high-quality journalistic opinions. Next year, he plans on going to college to study film.
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