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Kevin Brandenburg (NTHS '02) - Teacher
Walking through Pleasant Glade Elementary School, it is clear that there is history and community rooted in these halls. There are old staff group photos that line the walls, and a trophy display case with memories of the past. In fact, history runs deep in the historical connections to North Thurston Public Schools as a whole. Many teachers in the school district grew up here and even went to the same schools where they are teaching now.
Kevin Brandenburg is a perfect example these community connections. The 5th grade teacher grew up in this area, attending Pleasant Glade Elementary School, Chinook Middle School, and then graduating from North Thurston High School in 2002. He received his AA at South Puget Sound Community College, and then went on to get his BA in Education at Eastern Washington University. Everything came full circle when Kevin started working for North Thurston Public Schools a couple of years ago at (you guessed it) Pleasant Glade Elementary School (Kevin is seen here with his former 2nd grade teacher Tracy Larson and former 4th grade teacher Gail Shellgren). When he started at Pleasant Glade, he was working on the 3rd grade team with another former teacher, Pam Deck (now retired). When asked what he liked most about working in this education and for our school district, Kevin said, "this community is phenomenal. I feel very lucky to be not only in a district that cares about education, but in a community that supports its district. This area really supports the whole student, and many businesses offer time and resources to support the schools."
Kevin always wanted to come back to this area and teach. “I was taught a lot of great life lessons, and given many opportunities from the teachers I had. I wanted to give it back to the students in this area. My goal was to pass on the legacy of life-long learning."
Kevin shared some great memories of his time in school, specifically his first high school track meet.
“I was running the 300-meter hurdles. I found out that I was the only one who was in that race for the meet. I was talking to my parents about how I could walk the race and win first place. Being as this was my first time running the event outside of practice, it took a lot of pressure off of me. Another parent sitting by mine overheard and challenged me. She said if I ran as hard as I could and pushed myself, she would give me 20 bucks. I took the challenge and ran rather well. I learned that day to always do my best in everything I did!"
Today, the Brandenburg legacy continues. Kevin's brother Adam teaches Health & Fitness at North Thurston High School and his wife, Kristine, teaches 3rd grade at Pleasant Glade.
Written by Merrigan Risvold
North Thurston High School
Class of 2014
Community Relations Intern