New SCHS History teacher Brad Langstaff works to build his classroom around safety and mutual respect


Courtesy of Brad Langstaff

Langstaff is from Washington D.C. and has traveled all around the world, including Istanbul and Mexico City.

From jobs at ski resorts, Apple and New Valley High School, new SCHS history teacher Brad Langstaff endeavors to make his classroom a safe space for his students based on mutual respect. Langstaff runs the new Horizon Program and is here to facilitate its expansion.

To make his classroom a welcoming place, Langstaff makes connections and builds relationships with his students.

“I like teachers who have multiple ways to be successful. I try to do the same. I like lessons to be fun and interesting. History is not boring!” Langstaff said. “I like pictures, maps and films.”

Langstaff said he builds his classroom around the idea of mutual respect, influenced by his own high school experiences.

“I was not a great student, but I had fun,” Langstaff said. “I liked teachers that treated you as an equal, who didn’t talk down on you.”

Langstaff is from Washington D.C., where his involvement in politics as a high schooler inspired new interests in his education.

“I grew up going to the Smithsonian and all the other great museums… the White House, Mount Vernon, Monticello,” Langstaff said.

These visits, as well as a job giving museum tours while in college, stuck with Langstaff as an adult, and he has visited museums all around the world, from Istanbul to Mexico City.

Langstaff described himself as an outdoorsman and has worked at ski resorts in Vermont and the greater Lake Tahoe area.

“It was fun, and I still love skiing, and I love (the) outdoors,” Langstaff said.

Before he started teaching, Langstaff held a job at Apple for six years, during the inception of the iPhone. According to Langstaff, he worked in many different departments, mainly education, and even met Steve Jobs.

“My office was just below Steve Jobs’,” Langstaff said. “I saw him a lot and was in a few meetings with him… I always went early when we had a big company meeting so I could sit up front and watch him present.”

Langstaff said he enjoys teaching more than working in the corporate world, although his experience from Apple helps him at SCHS. After time with Apple, Langstaff returned to his education enrolling at Arkansas State University and earning a masters in education.

As an undergraduate at San Jose State University, Langstaff earned a bachelor’s degree in history and traveled to England to work on a Roman archaeological dig. Although teaching was not Langstaff’s initial career, he said he “always kind of wanted to be a teacher.

Starting a teaching job at SCHS in the midst of a pandemic has not discouraged Langstaff, even though he finds some aspects challenging.

“I don’t think learning should be a chore. It should be fun,” Langstaff said. “I want to make my classroom a safe and comfortable place for students to be.”