BIO - Mr. Brady

Mr. Brady received a Bachelor of Arts in Classics from Middlebury College during which he had the opportunity to study abroad at Cambridge University. He then completed a Masters of Arts in Ancient Culture, Religion, and Ethnicity at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver.

He joined BASIS Independent Silicon Valley in 2015 as part of the founding faculty. He spent three years in the World Language department teaching Latin, then spent two years teaching in the Monterey Bay Area, before returning home to BASIS Independent Silicon Valley (BISV) as a member of the administration.

As the Dean of Students for grades 10-12 and the Senior Projects Coordinator, Mr. Brady is an integral part of the Student Support Team. He offers workshops and both emotional and academic support to high school students, and acts as an advisor to our seniors who choose to participate in the Senior Project. Mr. Brady can often be found engaging in spirited discourse with students, and is always available for a lunchtime board game tournament.

How would you describe your position to a new incoming student and parent?

My main role at school is as an advocate for students in grades 10-12 both inside, and outside of the classroom. Students in this grade range aren't brand new to our school, but are still facing the same challenges and successes of any teenager transitioning into adulthood. I am sometimes a sounding board for their ideas or frustrations, I am a counselor when they need guidance, but I'm also an encourager when they have a bad day or are hesitant about pursuing something new or difficult. 

My goals are about bringing all the stakeholders - students, parents, and teachers - together so that we can solve problems and observe personal growth. Those moments of triumph when myself, parents, and teachers can step back and see that student thrive are my ultimate goal. 

Given that your students have been in our program already for a year or more, what are some of the ways that you help them in their day to day school life? 

A lot of the seniors this year have been with us since the school was founded in 2014. These were the youngest students I taught when I was first a teacher. For seniors, I help connect them with organizations to make an impact in their community through research or service. I work with teachers and families to develop support plans when students encounter challenges in learning and social emotional growth.

I also work with my colleagues in Student Affairs, teachers, and other members of administration at school to plan social programming so that students have a chance to socialize outside of the classroom. 

What are some key practices that you find our upper school students doing that help them be successful in our program? 

Every student that makes it into BISV's Upper School Program is academically strong. What sets high-achieving students apart from others is their ability to seek out help when they encounter challenges. They aren't afraid to receive criticism or ask for assistance when they need it. We have such an amazing support system at the school between our Student Affairs Team and our amazing teaching faculty. If a student needs help, we are here to provide it. 

Given the academic rigor of our program, how can our students balance their school life and social life?

This is a neat question. I think sometimes students and parents think that the things you love to do outside of school are at the cost of academic pursuits, when actually I find that the students who are the most happy at BISV are the ones that find activities, groups, and causes they love and make time for them in their schedules. It is not always easy. There will be times you have to focus on one more than the other, but balancing it all is a great life skill and high school is a safe place to learn those lessons. 

Find something that you're good at that isn't in the classroom, and build strong relationships with the people who share your interests, whether that's music, or exercise, or writing, or gardening - just find it!

How do you feel our program helps students grow from teenagers, into young adults?

Students are a part of a learning community, one that gives the opportunity for young adults to better themselves, take risks, have achievements, have failures, learn lessons, etc. Through the natural course of a school day, students are partaking in that community and not only learning these life skills and to respect themselves, but others. Whether it be their behavior in the hallways, participating in class discussions, or connecting with friends during free time, they are learning these lessons through their relationships with their teachers and fellow students. It’s a daily journey and one that sometimes requires students to be reminded of the community they are a part of, the respect they require, and the respect we require them to show other people. This is where their relationships with their teachers, fellow students, and Dean of Students really comes into play.

This year, we've also invited historians, activists, artists, and academics from across the world to share their passion for equity and inclusion, because we think this is something we believe is essential to building good global citizens. Prof Ed Linenthal, Vidisha Rai, Tyler Dunning, JD Lombardi, the folks at GeekEd, and all the other guests we've had so far at Bobchats give the students a chance to ask questions and learn more about what it takes to not only talk about change but also actually manifest it in the community.

Can you share an anecdote about one of your students who may have struggled, and how they finally had that "a-ha" moment in their school life?

It is hard to think of a lot of success stories in the past two years, since so much of online learning has really caused students to retreat from their social lives and put a pause on all of the activities that were such a vital part of their identity, but I think one of the most rewarding things about staying with students long term is that I get to see their big ideal become a reality in Senior Projects.

I love watching their plans blossom into defenses and all the steps that lead to their internships and volunteering in the spring. So much of the first few years of high school prioritizes their classes, but one of the things that BISV gets right is giving seniors their final semester to do something that they devise entirely by themselves. The students are so creative and thoughtful about the work that they set for themselves and it's a testament to how much confidence we have in them as a school that this is the crowning achievement of their time with us.

What's your favorite part of your job?

My favorite part of my job is going on fieldtrips to murder mysteries or virtual petting zoos with students, or making giant scavenger hunts for 800 kids to play over the course of the week--things we could never do in person but things this virtual world has allowed us!

BASIS Independent Silicon Valley is a grades 5-12 private middle and high school based in San Jose, California, providing students an internationally benchmarked liberal arts and sciences curriculum. Considering joining the Bobcat community? Join our interest list by clicking here to receive admissions updates for fall 2022.