October Top Notch Teacher

Having the same teacher for eight years may be too long for some students. But many Viroqua students who have had band since elementary school wouldn’t have it any other way.

Walk into Brad Thew’s classroom and quiet is something you won’t find. Thew’s high-energy teaching style is connecting with all ages.

Thew is the Viroqua School District’s band teacher for grades 5 through 12. Thew has been at it for 25 years, and by now he has it mastered.

“The strategies are the same, so what you do and how you teach kids stays the same for me,” Thew says.

He is the first to admit humor is a big part of his personality and daily lessons, but Thew’s classroom isn’t all fun and games.

In addition to learning to play an instrument, students walk away from Mr. Thew’s class knowing a lot about work ethic.

“I tell them, ‘Like one of the great Packer lineman said, hard work is hard, but hard work is fun,” Thew says. “When you really get into it and you get it right, it’s a great experience. And to do it in a group of 45 to 90 students is even better.”


A lot changes between the first and last class with Mr. Thew, and to him that’s one of the most rewarding parts of the job.

“It’s really cool to see them not only grow as musicians, but as human beings, and become great people,” Thew says.