Dave Bradley has given more than 30 years of service to the Payson Unified School District. At the end of the 2006-2007 school year, he will be moving on.
In January, he started making plans for retirement.
His choice to retire has nothing to do with the recent student eligibility issues during the girls basketball season, he said. "I have my 80 plus points in and went to the retirement meeting in January. So, this has been planned."
Bradley gave his notice at the March 12 Payson school board meeting, said Superintendent Sue Myers.
Bradley also met with the post-retirement placement firm, ESI, and found that he would not be getting much more retirement income if he continued his employment in Payson.
The placement firm puts retired educators in vacancies with districts that need to save money.
Bradley and his wife, Della, have been discussing where they would like to go.
"I'm looking at the Tucson area because my two sons are there." He said his health is another reason he is considering relocating to Tucson. Bradley suffers from severe allergy attacks in both the spring and fall.
Bradley is originally from the panhandle of Oklahoma, where his father worked at a small college for many years.
"We lived right across from the gym, so I grew up a gym rat and athletic," he said.
He earned his initial teaching credentials from Grand Canyon College (now University) and was hired by the Payson Unified School District almost 32 years ago to teach driver's education, health education and physical education/weights.
He also coached basketball the first year he joined the Payson High School faculty. Over the years, he has taught a variety of classes from psychology to business. He started the zero-hour drivers' education program when the course was eliminated from the regular class schedule at the high school.
In addition to coaching basketball -- a basketball team that won a state championship --- Bradley has coached baseball and golf, scouted for football and helped with the wrestling program.
"If you teach, you're involved," he said.
He has been in various administrative posts at the school for the past 12 years, serving as Dean of Students before obtaining his administrative certificate, then working as assistant principal and finally as athletic director. He will serve as assistant principal until the end of the school year.
"It's a tough thing to leave a place you've made your home for more than 30 years and thought it would be your home forever," he said.
"Mr. Bradley has touched the lives of thousands of Payson students throughout his more than 30 years of service in Payson Schools," Myers said.
"His influence will be felt for many years to come."