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Instructor Spotlight

A familiar face in a new role!

In this series of articles that highlight new faculty at River Bend Career and Technical Center,
this month’s article features a person who probably is familiar with the school as anyone could
imagine. This month we get to learn more about our new Construction Technology teacher,
Bradley Degoosh!

picture of Brad DeGoosh

Brad is a person known to many in the River Bend and Oxbow community, as he is a life-long
resident of Bradford. Brad attended Bradford Elementary School, Oxbow High School, and was
a two-year “program completer” in Harry McLam’s famous Building Trades Program at River
Bend! After high school, Brad earned his Education degree at Castleton College, majoring in
physical education, and began his teaching career at Becket Family Services in Pike, New
Hampshire, as a Behavioral Interventionist. Over the thirty years since high school, Brad has
gained valuable teaching and student support experience in his roles at Oxbow in physical
education, physical education at the Becket programs, behavioral support and restorative justice
work at Oxbow, substance abuse counselor at Oxbow and, for the last three years, assisting in
both the Auto Technology and the Construction Technology programs at River Bend. In
addition, Brad’s ability to help students grow and bring out their best has also been part of his
lengthy coaching career at Oxbow High School. As a former high school athlete himself, Brad
has been coaching in the areas of baseball and girls’ soccer for almost 20 years!

During Brad’s career as an educator, he has broadened his construction skills by working part-
time with various contractors during vacations and over the summer break. Brad has also
worked out on his own, taking on small construction jobs in our area. He has also spent time
working with the summer maintenance staff at the River Bend/Oxbow complex. All of these
experiences in education and construction have led to a “full circle” experience, coming back to
the Tech Center program where Brad began his training!

Brad’s ability to help students grow and help bring out their best has also been part of his lengthy
coaching career at Oxbow High School. As a former high school athlete himself, Brad has been
coaching in the areas of baseball and girls’ soccer for the past 20 years! Brad now seeing that
teaching in the construction trades area is quite different from some of his past teaching
experiences. With his past experiences, whether it was teaching physical education or coaching
a varsity team, Brad’s focus has been to help each student or athlete work to achieve their
personal best. While that is still the majority of the focus in his construction class, now there is
also the added dimension of making sure that the skills students learn and perfect are those skills
and habits needed at the entry level of our local workforce. As students gain skill and experience,
Brad is grateful for his cooperative education partners who are providing another level of
experience to his best students. At the present time, there are students who have coop
opportunities with an electrician, a plumber, a log home contractor, and, soon to be, a mason.
Between the shop and various job sites, Brad’s class of 14 students is tackling a number of
projects. The focus lately has been on the construction of an outdoor classroom at Woodsville
High School. This project takes a tremendous amount of coordination to happen, as some
students from Woodsville High School and Blue Mountain School arrive early (instead of

coming to River Bend first), and others from Oxbow, Rivendell Academy and Thetford
Academy need to be bussed to Woodsville from River Bend. Progress has been good this winter,
and the goal for completion is sometime in April. A multi-year project that is also taking shape
is the complete reconstruction and renovation of a single-wide trailer that came from the flooding
in Barre, Vermont this past summer. The goal is to provide the community with a brand new,
low-cost housing option when completed. The class is now designing the renovation plans,
testing for mold and mildew, and starting the demolition of some areas. Other projects have
included building a usable equipment room for the Emergency Services Program at River Bend,
and a fun project earlier this year where students built “feral cathouses” for community use.
Of anything about his program, Brad is probably most excited about his students! He is finding
that the students come to class highly motivated, interested, and eager to learn. This may be that
coming to River Bend is a choice each student makes, which means students really seem to be
taking responsibility for their own learning and development. Guided by the years of experience
and training that Brad brings to the program, these students are bound to build a wonderful future
for themselves!