February is CTE Month so we wanted to highlight an advisor that is serving at a school that is a vital piece of NTHS history! Brad Rothell has been in education for 34 years, and began serving as an NTHS advisor 7 years ago at Swofford Career Center in South Carolina. If that school sounds familiar that’s because it’s the location of the very first NTHS chapter!

Brad believes that CTE provides a strong foundation that all students can take advantage of and that NTHS helps honor those students! As the NTHS advisor for Chapter #1, Brad makes sure that his students are aware that our organization can trace its roots back to Swofford Career Center! Brad took some time to answer some questions about his chapter and himself, take a look and see what you might be able to take back to your home chapter!


Why is Career and Technical Education important to you? 

“CTE was important to me before I ever began work at Swofford. As a middle school counselor, I facilitated field trips to Swofford and conducted many Individual Graduation Plan meetings with students and parents.    I recognize the importance of “reading, writing, and ‘rithmatics,” but a primary purpose of education is to help students be successful, productive citizens of the world.  At Swofford as well as other CTE programs, students learn about real careers.  They are taught the skills for these careers; they are shown the pathways and requirements for getting started in these careers; and they learn employability (“soft”) skills necessary to advance in their careers.  And please understand:  While many of our students advance directly into the workforce, many others will continue their studies at the college or university, taking advantage of and building upon the strong foundation they’ve developed here at Swofford.  EVERY student could benefit from CTE programs.”


Your chapter is NTHS chapter #1 – the first school where NTHS was begun in 1984. Do you let your members know that they are continuing a part of our organization’s history?

“Absolutely! This is definitely a point of pride in our school – that NTHS traces its roots to Swofford Career Center. “   


What advice would you give your current students on how to make the most out of their CTE experience? 

“It may be a cliche, but it’s 100% true – that in any endeavor, what you get out of it is a result of what you invest. We go ahead and explain our work-based learning (“co-op”) program to our intro-level students and encourage them to set that as a goal. Work hard every day and demonstrate those employability skills so that your instructor would be proud to recommend you to go on co-op as you advance through the program. ”


As the leader of your school’s NTHS chapter, what accomplishments (yours or your students’) are you most proud of? These can be chapter activities, campaigns, community outreach, etc. Please share your stories!

“We have had two of our seniors win the Poteat Scholarship!  It was very exciting to see how happy these students were, and it was all because of their membership in NTHS.”


Tell us a little about yourself…Your family? Your pets? Your hobbies and interests? 

“Professionally, this is my 34th year serving as an educator in South Carolina.  I’ve been married to my incredible wife Lori for 28 years.  She is an Infection Preventionist at a local hospital.  We have two sons: Ross (24) is an accountant for a firm in Greenville, and Stu (22) is a student at Anderson University, pursuing a degree and certification in Physical Education.    Lori and I have two dogs:  Sally (6) is a long-haired chihuahua mix, and Willow (5) is a beautiful, white Standard Poodle who would much rather chase frisbees than be your  stereotypical poodle.   Regarding hobbies/interests:  I love to play golf; I play drums in our praise band at church; and I am a big sports fan, following all Clemson Tiger sports (my dad, our oldest son, and I all hold degrees from Clemson), the World Champion Atlanta Braves/MLB, and the Miami Dolphins/NFL.”


If you’re interested in nominating an NTHS Advisor to be our Advisor of the Month, click here.