New Ft. Thomas Asst. Superintendent Inducted Into Transy Sports Hall, Drops 200+ Pounds
2017 has been a big year for Bill Bradford.
Or, Billy Bradford, as he is called at Transylvania University, where the champion diver was recently inducted into the 2017 Pioneer Hall of Fame class. The 2002 graduate of the historic Lexington university competed as a diver for its swimming and diving team for four seasons. He qualified for two NAIA National Championships (1999, 2001), finishing in 1999 as the national runner-up in the 1-meter diving event. Bradford went undefeated in conference championship meets.
“I had a great opportunity and enjoyed awesome achievements I’m proud of,” said Bradford, who, after graduation, was recruited to be the diving coach at Transylvania from 2003-2009. He was among five athletes inducted in a recent ceremony.
“Each of [the] five inductees has held an impactful relationship with Transylvania University since the first time they stepped onto our campuses,” said Dr. Holly Sheilley, vice president for enrollment and student life.
According to Bradford, a resident of Cincinnati’s Oakley neighborhood, his experience at Transylvania is one of three that have significantly impacted his life.
A second happened earlier this year when a seven-member committee unanimously selected Bill to become assistant superintendent for teaching and learning at Fort Thomas Independent Schools.
He began his career in education as a Spanish teacher at Layfayette High School in Lexington. “I then worked as an instructional support specialist, supporting the principal and teachers at middle school level,” Bradford said.
After earning a master's degree from Georgetown College and a Rank 1 certification at Eastern Kentucky University, Bradford began looking for principal jobs.
He landed in Northern Kentucky.
“I researched Covington Schools and felt it was a great district with great students. I interviewed and was offered a job,” he said. Bradford became principal at Sixth District Elementary School, then served as assistant superintendent for learning support at Covington Independent Schools. “Each year I grew to love the area more and more and got involved in regional education.”
Bradford then went on to serve two years as principal at River Ridge Elementary School within the Kenton County School District.
He was brought on in Fort Thomas in July.
“I’ll be handling assessment management, curriculum, instruction and school leadership, supporting principals and their assistants,” said Bradford. “I feel I have a good perspective, having held similar positions in my career.”
Among his responsibilities is involvement in several big projects. “The state is migrating to a new assessment structure. There’s a need to prepare people and accelerate programs already in place. We’re taking on redeveloping the curriculum to create uniformity between the schools and providing adequate access to materials.”
Bradford joined Fort Thomas, consistently ranked among the top districts in Kentucky, at the same time as new superintendent Karen Cheser and assistant superintendent for student services Jamee Flaherty.
“There is a team approach with my two colleagues,” he said. “There are five schools - a high school, a middle school, and three elementary schools - serving about 3,300 students. Fort Thomas has a great reputation - when homes are on sale, they go quickly! And local businesses engage with the schools.”
Bradford is also co-teaching a dual credit course at Highlands High School, in conjunction with Thomas More College, with Cheser and Flaherty. “I’m also an adjunct professor at Northern Kentucky University, teaching a principal preparatory class. It’s a chance to teach and influence future principals.”
Bradford said he settled in Oakley because of its convenience for walking and running, and its diversity.
He is active in several sports and fitness programs in the community. “I play tennis for Eastern Hills in men’s single matches on Sundays and doubles matches on weekends. In the off-season I play in spring leagues. I’ve gotten to know the city, traveling to different areas and meeting people.”
He also is a regular at Orangetheory Fitness Workout Studio. “I’ve been there a year working on weight and resistance training, on the treadmill and in water resistant rowing."
In the past few years, Bradford has dropped 245 pounds.
“It’s been life-changing. People look at my before and after photos and don’t believe it’s the same person,” he said.
In recognition of his accomplishment, Bill was selected this past summer to be highlighted as a member by Orangetheory Fitness.
And Bradford is not one to slow down.
“I’m working on my doctorate at NKU. I’ve completed all my course work and now am in the dissertation phase.”
His doctoral focus is "the Impact of Classroom Environment Effect on Student Learning."