Henderson Bay Big Picture High School is one of only a few dozen like it across the country. The school is built around strong staff/student relationships where students are empowered to learn while pursuing their interests. Students get hands-on learning in professional environments alongside a mentor as they explore their interests. They develop an individual learning plan where they are supported in pursuing their interests while also taking a mix of academic and exploratory classes. One of those mentors is Greg Brashear, who has come to love everything about the unique environment offered at Henderson Bay.
“With our changing school dynamic, it is amazing to see what students can accomplish when you encourage students to teach themselves and each other. I cannot count the times that students have taught me something I never knew. This is where true engagement and learning occurs,” said Greg.
A former social studies teacher, Greg’s role now is advising ninth grade freshmen. He helps students identify what they are passionate about and support them in creating their own unique learning experience related to those passions. In addition, he teaches rotating classes on world and U.S. history, civics, education, psychology and many others depending on what the students want to learn from him.
“Now I am able to teach subjects students want to learn about instead of forcing a subject on them,” he said.
Greg enjoys the unique environment at Henderson Bay Big Picture as it allows him to form bonds he says last well past graduation.
“It is never easy, but when you have a student that won’t even acknowledge your existence as a freshman and to see them graduate and hug you as a super senior is without compare,” Greg said.
Despite students getting to choose the subjects they learn, and having more of an internship and professional approach to high school, Greg doesn’t let them off easy and has very high expectations for all of his students. He brings in very personal stories from his own life to help build trust. Lessons in grit, resilience, tenacity and growing as a person are always present.
“Students will rise to whatever bar we set as long as we show them how to get there and lead the way,” said Greg.
Mr. Brashear knows he has chosen the right career path and the right school.
“This career is the most rewarding because we have the honor of helping our students to be the best that they can be, every day. We form bonds that will last a lifetime,and I am incredibly grateful to have this opportunity to do that.”