Someone You Should Know: 45 years at O’Gorman High School

Published: Sep. 6, 2023 at 4:58 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - “Ever since I was young — very, very young — I always wanted to be a teacher. I had three little sisters, and we always played school. And of course, I got to be the teacher,” said Jane Bradfield.

Many years later, Jane Bradfield is still the teacher. She’s starting her 45th year in a classroom at O’Gorman High School.

“This was the first job I applied for, and Dr. Tom Lorang had some faith in me and hired this young inexperienced teacher. I grew up in a Catholic family. The Catholic Church has always been important to me throughout my lifetime,” said Jane.

The Hartford, South Dakota, native has mainly taught business and finance, as well as some culinary arts classes like this one.

“I’ve been blessed with amazing students and their families. Right now, in the last few years, I’ve had the fortune of teaching children of previous students. And it’s always fun to tell those students about their parents when they were in high school,” said Jane.

Father Tony Klein, a 2012 O’Gorman grad, is one of those former students.

“I had Mrs. Bradfield in personal finance my senior year. Always willing to help, realizing that not everyone loved the subject matter. But she was very patient with us,” said Father Klein.

“Kids are kids. They’re great. They’re going to be the future leaders of our world. And it’s just fun to work with them, and try to instill values in these people that are going to go out and lead us someday,” said Jane.

Maybe the most gratifying, her four kids with her husband Brett all went into education.

“It’s really rewarding to be able to pass the love of education on to my children and to see them now kind of following in my footsteps,” said Jane.

Mrs. Bradfield isn’t thinking of retirement yet.

“No date in mind. Like I tell my students, you’ll never work a day in your life as long as you do something you enjoy. And I’ve always admired Mother Teresa and one of her sayings that I have on my desk in my other classroom: ‘Let no one come to you without leaving happier.’ I try to live by that in my classroom. I want my students to have fun in my classroom and to leave happy,” said Jane.

Her husband, Dr. Brett Bradfield, is the president at the University of Sioux Falls.