Florida’s Brady named as Administrator of the Year
By Erinn Harris, MJE, awards committee chair
Gary Brady, former principal at Hillsborough High School in Tampa, Florida, now a regional superintendent of Hillsborough County Public Schools, has been named Journalism Education Association’s 2020 Administrator of the Year.
JEA presents the award to administrators who have shown a dedication to journalism education.
As soon as Brady joined the administrative team at Hillsborough High School, he demonstrated a level of trust and support for high school journalists not always demonstrated by his peers across the country.
“Despite the fact that some news stories the students published weren’t always appreciated in school district offices downtown,” Hillsborough adviser Jill Burns, MJE, said, “Brady recognized the value of student journalists learning and engaging in their craft.”
This trust and support is evident in every aspect of Brady’s role as an administrator. He celebrates success, both publicly and privately, making announcements, as well as, delivering handwritten notes to the staff. He makes himself available for student interviews and to hear adviser concerns — and he takes action.
“And the excitement on his face each time he was hand delivered an issue?” former Red & Black Editor-in-Chief Marin Fehl said. “Unmatched by any other reaction.”
Brady earned both a bachelor’s degree in English education and a master’s degree in educational leadership from the University of South Florida. Before joining the staff at Hillsborough High School, he served as an administrator at Robinson High School and Strawberry Crest High School. Brady began his career in education teaching English and reading at Plant City High School from 1995-2009.
Noting Brady’s affinity for social media, nominator Joe Humphrey, MJE, said, “Beyond the tweets, though, Brady gets it. He is one of those leaders who people want to be around. He is deserving of recognition for his positivity and passion.”
Positivity and passion.
Trust and support.
Leadership in times of crisis.
For these reasons and more, Brady will be formally recognized for his impact during the JEA/NSPA National High School Journalism Convention, Nov. 19-20.
Founded in 1924, JEA supports free and responsible scholastic journalism by providing resources and educational opportunities, promoting professionalism, encouraging and rewarding student excellence and teacher achievement, and an atmosphere which encompasses diversity yet builds unity. It is headquartered at Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas.