Nominated for his old-school, yet engaging style of teaching, Brad Duplechain is as passionate about his job as he is about the subject.

Brad Duplechain conducts an experiment with some of his physics students.

 His field, physics, demands both conceptual understanding as well as complex math skills, and there are no easy or gimmicky ways to approach this subject and its embedded skills for his 11th and 12th grade students.

In his 20 years as a full-time faculty member, Brad has embraced the concept of holistic education. He never passes up an opportunity to teach his students — he models the idea that everything we do teaches something. Walk into his classroom on any given day, and often you will leave thinking, “That’s one of the most interesting classes I have ever been a part of.”

“Brad has a knack and a passion for making learning relevant in the lives of his students,” says Thomas Mavor, English instructor at Brother Martin. “Sit in his class, and you’ll enter a world of real-life, practical problem solving. What more effective way of motivating a student towards engineering than design a curriculum that prints prosthetic hands through the use of a 3D printer?

Brad is also a cross country and track and field coach.

Mavor adds, “Visit a track practice, and you might see Brad engage in a conversation with a student about gravity in relation to a helicopter that happens to be hovering overhead.”

Brad directs one of his players as the head track and field coach.

For Brad, everything matters down to the smallest details. It’s not about getting the right answer. It’s about how you get the right answer. It’s about how you prove that answer. And it’s about the pride you put into each of those aspects that matters most.

Brad’s classroom demeanor is stoic, for the most part. He expects his students to be prepared for class and “to get down to business,” and in this way, he protects the sanctity of instructional time for the betterment of his students’ learning.

He demonstrates excellence in his preparation for his classes and expects that his students do the same. However, Brad has been very open and eager to use many of the tools the physics department has at its disposal. He was one of the first members of the science department to use the Vernier probes. 

An old-school type of educator, Brad believes that every moment is an opportunity to learn something.

Former student Michael Lagasse (class of 2004) always speaks highly of “Coach Dup” and the things that he learned from him. Michael is now an engineer and is putting those lessons to work in real life.

“Over the years when I served as the academic assistant principal, I had many conversations with Brad in which he initiated his concerns for students’ tenacity and responsibility (or lack thereof), Mavor says. “He instinctively knows that physics and cross country/track are merely the content for the actual life-long learning: the importance of goal setting, of responsibility, of practice, of doing what is important, not what’s popular or easy. Long after Brad has taught/coached young men, they continue to embody the lessons that he taught them about how to ‘make a life.’”

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