By Kristyn Hunt Cathey
“Now you know I don’t like to be made a fuss over,” Coach Eva Bradford said through tears to a packed crowd of family members, former and current students, and colleagues. Coach Bradford was honored during a gym naming dedication at Highlands Junior School on May 19th. The ceremony was originally scheduled to take place in 2020, but had to be postponed due to COVID.
Coach Bradford is a staple in the Highlands community; having spent her entire 42-year career at Highlands Junior School. A decorated educator, she has earned several honors, including Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers, Barbers Hill Sports Hall of Honor, Highlands Junior “Teacher of the Year” as well as being named a Goose Creek CISD Education Foundation Students Choice recipient.
Several members of the community spoke highly of Coach Bradford and credited her with their success. Dr. Bernard Mulvaney, Highlands Junior School principal said, “Now, as most of you know, Coach Bradford does not like things like this,” he said. “But I told her, we were going to celebrate her anyway, because if anyone deserves this; it’s her.” Heron Thomas, a former HJS student, said Bradford has served as a mentor to him throughout his life. “Coach Bradford has a strong, but quiet presence,” he said. “When she speaks; you better listen and I’m so glad that I did because I wouldn’t be who I am today without her.”
Coach Bradford, overwhelmed with emotion, addressed the crowd as any proud coach would. “I can’t help but thank God for allowing me to be here today,” she said. “I am so thankful for this honor and I know that my parents are looking down, smiling and are proud of the work that I’ve done.”
All photos taken by Carrie Pryor-Newman