ESS Region 1: Brandon Thatcher
October 5, 2020
ACSA Region 1 Every Student Succeeding recipient Brandon Thatcher.
Editor’s note: ACSA’s video series profiling the winners of the Every Student Succeeding awards program was impacted by COVID-19 shelter-in-place restrictions. Each week, EdCal will feature Q&A interviews with all 19 winners from each ACSA region. In addition, there will be video stories of the students whose footage was completed before the pandemic. Watch for these videos to premiere on ACSA’s
YouTube channel
and ACSA’s
Facebook page
, beginning this week with Brandon's story.
Grade: 12 School: Shasta High School District: Shasta Union High School District ACSA region: 1 Brandon Thatcher exemplifies positivity. Every day, he arrives at school with a big smile. He often goes out of his way to say good morning and ask about your day. He is genuine and thoughtful, selfless and gracious. But there has been nothing easy about Brandon’s upbringing. He battled homelessness throughout his childhood. He often walked three miles to get to school before educators stepped in and helped find him a bike. Brandon was also diagnosed with a delay mutational falsetto, meaning his voice did not drop in pitch like most adolescent boys. Despite little support at home, Brandon has remained determined to overcome these obstacles. Thanks to an incredible work ethic and a strong support system at Shasta High, Brandon epitomizes the belief that every student can succeed. What are your hobbies and interests? I really like sports, drawing, riding my bike and hanging out with friends. What has been the biggest challenge you’ve overcome to get where you are today? I’ve faced many challenges throughout my life. Being homeless was especially tough as I tried to balance school and wrestling. For a long time, I walked three miles to get to school, but it was worth it. Oftentimes, I did not want to leave school because it was the one place that made me happy. I also dealt with a speech disability that made it embarrassing for me to talk to other people because my voice was so high. I wanted people to take me seriously, but my speech issues made that difficult. What educator helped you along the way and how did they help you? So many people were there to help me be successful including Brendan Furnari, Collin Anderson and my karate teacher, Scott Halsey, who always believed in me and pushed me to get through the tough times. I should also point out my speech therapist Mrs. Dougherty. She saw my speech problem and sat down with me every week and we practiced speaking lower. I also practiced on my own for a whole summer and my voice tone improved dramatically. All of these people really helped me develop as a person so I could reach my goals.    What advice would you have for students facing similar situations? I think if I had any advice to give it’s to just be yourself and don’t be afraid to go for your dreams. No matter the circumstances, you can always find a way if you have a strong work ethic and have faith in yourself. What does it mean to win this award? It means a lot to me that so many people care about me and want to help me be successful. I hope I made them proud by winning this award.
Every Student Succeeding winners overcome the odds
Contact Us

© 2020 Association of California School Administrators
ACSA EdCal logo.
Association of California School Administrators
Association of California School Administrators