A Step Ahead: Faculty Profile on Mr. Vincent Bradley
Mr. Vincent Bradley launched the Catholic Memorial Model UN Conference (CMUNC) in the back of a bus.
It was eight years ago, he remembers, and a group of seniors sat behind him on their ride home from Dartmouth College. The students, all members of CM’s Model UN program, had just competed in a conference hosted at the Ivy League school.
Long before the trip, the students had floated the idea of CM hosting its own conference. When Mr. Bradley, the club moderator, overheard Mr. Gus Erikson ’13 insist on launching a conference that next year, he began to put the plan in motion.
Within six months, Mr. Bradley and his students debuted the inaugural CMUNC for 85 students from six competing teams. Now, eight years later, CMUNC welcomes over 250 students from 15 schools across the state, making it the largest fall Model UN conference in Boston.
According to Mr. Bradley, the secret of the conference’s success lies in the trust he puts in students to take initiative and assist their fellow classmates.
“It’s all about encouraging kids who have that skillset but maybe need that extra push,” says Mr. Bradley, who also serves as the History Department Chair.
“Sometimes I’ll go to a student and say, ‘Hey, there’s a spot open here. It’s not what you were planning, but we kind of need you. Can you step into this role?’”
Mr. Bradley says he tries his best to put students in the best possible position to succeed during competitions. This means giving students, some as young as freshmen, the chance to organize a committee or lead a group of delegates.
“[Mr. Bradley] encouraged me to speak up,” said freshman Alex Masferrer, a rising star on the Model UN team.
“He told me, ‘Trust me, you’ll be really nervous now, but once you just take a few minutes to speak, then you’ll have more control of the room than you ever realized.’”
Mr. Bradley raises a high bar for students outside of Model UN too.
In 2018, he oversaw an independent study of eight seniors at the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the U.S. Senate in Boston. Together, they created their own Senate Immersion Module, the first time any high school had undertaken such a collaboration with the institute.
He also spends time outside of school honing his craft for the sake of his students. For years, Mr. Bradley served as an Advanced Placement (AP) test grader, which culminated in the College Board selecting him as a featured speaker on AP curriculum and pedagogy at its 2006, 2010, 2015, and 2017 AP National Conferences.
“It’s reassuring knowing that I have a teacher who is as committed to the course as I am,” said Will Stockwell, a junior in Mr. Bradley’s AP U.S. History course.
Despite a hectic schedule, Mr. Bradley insists the success of his students makes every second of work worth it.
“The most fulfilling thing for me is when I hear a former student say they got something out of my class or Model UN,” Mr. Bradley says.
“It always reminds me of why I became a teacher.”