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West Orange Times & Observer Thursday, Aug. 26, 2021 1 month ago

Influencer of the Week: Brad Bales, Foundation Academy

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Foundation Academy fans know him best as the voice of the Lions football team on Friday nights.
by: Chris Martucci Sports Editor

Foundation Academy fans know him best as the voice of the Lions football team on Friday nights, but Brad Bales has been more than that to the school during his eight years at Foundation. In addition to his most famous role at Foundation, Bales also teaches AP calculus, AP statistics, and honor statistics. He also serves as Foundation’s Math Department chair. 

What brought you to Foundation?  
We moved to Florida in 2010 and began attending First Baptist Church of Winter Garden. Foundation Academy has always felt like an extension of our church family, so it was a natural fit.

What do you love most about your school? 
It is clear the administration, staff and faculty all genuinely love our students. While we challenge them to do their best academically, we all play a part in helping them to grow spiritually.

What is your motivation? 
Ultimately, I want my students to discover how God has uniquely gifted them and embrace their individuality. While I’m teaching them calculus and statistics, and how to critically think, I want them to know how much I care about them and their future success.

What is the most rewarding part of your job? 
When a student who has put in a great effort through the year contacts me the day AP scores are released to tell me how excited they are they passed. I also love it when students come back from college telling me how well they are doing in their calculus or statistics class, and how they are helping other students (who) are struggling.

What do you like to do in your spare time?  
I enjoy spending time with my wife, Kecia, and our five crazy boys. I also enjoy home-improvement projects (in moderation) and playing golf and tennis when time allows.

Who was your favorite teacher when you were in school? Why?  
Mr. Goodwin (aka “Goody”) was a great history teacher. We studied and discussed capitalism, Marxism, socialism, communism, etc. He had each of us argue and make cases for philosophies he knew we disagreed with and taught us to understand and respect those we don’t agree with. Not to mention, we had a lot of laughs in his class.

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? Why?  
I grew up a pretty quiet kid but got over that when I made it to high school. I wanted to eventually end up on Saturday Night Live and do movies. Who knows? Might still happen one day!

What is your favorite children’s book and why?  
I loved reading to our boys when they were younger. My favorite was “Elfis — A Christmas Tale.” It’s a great story about an elf that doesn’t fit in and then discovers his inner Elvis. When he finds his true self, he saves the day!

What are your hobbies?  
I enjoy woodworking, golf, tennis and board games with the family.

If you could only listen to three bands or artists for the rest of your life, what would they be and why?  
As you look around my classroom, you would guess my first choice would be Elvis Presley. I love his voice, and this would give me 50s pop, rock, country and gospel music. B.B. King would be next so I could hear some great blues. Last, but not least, would be The Jayhawks.

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Chris Martucci is the sports editor for the West Orange Times & Observer,  Southwest Orange Observer and OrangeObserver.com. He holds a master's degree in journalism from the University of Missouri — Columbia School of Journalism, as well as a bachelor's degree in...

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