At 85-years-old, a North Texas teacher is nowhere near slowing down.
She has served Dallas-Fort Worth both as a registered nurse during large disasters and as a teacher for more than two decades, where she has not missed any days of school.
Sharon Bradley teaches Principles of Health Science at Naaman Forest High School in Garland.
At 85, the majority of her life has been dedicated to serving others.
“When you really enjoy what you do for a living it’s not work,” she said. “It’s fun and games.”
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Bradley graduated from the Parkland Hospital School of Nursing in 1956 and spent the next two decades on the frontlines of major disasters in the hospital’s emergency room.
“I worked both of the Delta Airline crashes at DFW Airport,” Bradley said. “That was interesting.”
She would turn to teaching later in life and has worked at nearly every Garland high school.
And in nearly 26 years, she hasn’t missed a day.
“I haven’t been absent,” she said. “I’m just lucky! I broke my arm on a Sunday night, they strapped me up and I could come to school on Monday.”
Neither the loss of her husband nor the EF-3 tornado that struck Dallas in October kept her home.
“I only allow myself to collapse on weekends,” she said with a chuckle. “I have to be well by Monday because the kids need their teacher.”
It’s the kind of commitment thousands of students and colleagues over the years have come to appreciate.
“No matter what happens she always wants to help,” sophomore Kathija Ogunlende said. “She always put extra effort in her work.”
Teacher Karen Stanton has known Bradley for years.
“A dream. A dream teacher from every angle that you can cut it really,” she said.
Bradley uses a walker to monitor teens coming and going in the hallways these days, but said she looked forward to teaching as long as possible.
And even in the end, she hopes to leave one more lesson learned.
“At 85, I could drop dead at the whiteboard,” she said with a smile. “But then there’s still the advantage there because the kids would be able to do CPR on a human being as opposed to a mannequin. It’s a little bit different.”