English teacher reflects on her Lilly grant

Mrs. Bradshaw and family to will travel to England and France


Jade Zhao

English teacher Mrs. Liz Bradshaw instructs her G period class in Loretto Hall. As a result of a grant she received, Bradshaw and her family will travel to Europe this summer.

Madeline Taylor, Reporter

After a lengthy process, English teacher Mrs. Lizabeth Bradshaw has received one of this year’s Lilly grants, an award that she said “encourages teachers and helps them to fill their bucket so they can go back to their teaching profession with more zeal and recommitment.”

In order to obtain the Lilly Grant, teachers have to have been in the classroom for at least five years. They then have to receive letters of recommendation and write essays to complete the application.

Along with her colleagues, Mrs. Kim Carver, Mr. Mark Matthews and Mr. Jon Kane, Bradshaw joins the list of current Cathedral educators who have received this award. Bradshaw said, “I was really excited and surprised. I am really grateful to Mr. Matthews and Mr. Kane because they received the grant in the past and they helped me write my proposal and give me letters of recommendation so I give a lot of my success to them.”

In 2012 while he was teaching at Carmel Middle School, Matthews received an $8,000 grant to study California history at the University of San Diego. While Kane was an art teacher at Carmel High School, he was the recipient of two grants. In 2009, he received $8,000 to travel to Italy where he sketched and photographed various venues. In 2019, Kane was awarded $12,000 to visit Kauai, Hawaii, where he sketched his impressions of the island,

The application process is somewhat rigorous. When it comes to the focus of the application, Bradshaw said, “The main thing is the proposal you write, hitting the deadline and gathering the recommendations. I think you really have to come up with an idea that is authentic and really actionable.”

The Lilly grant differs from a majority of other awards that teachers can receive. It is not an merely an allotment of money but rather the ability to create an experience. For each application, a teacher must explain how the proposal they create will benefit them in the classroom.

For Bradshaw, it was through time with her children.

With the grant Bradshaw received she said, “My proposal was to take my children to London and Paris to visit sites of stories we read when they were little.” As someone who has taught in Loretto Hall for years, literature is a large part of Bradshaw’s career. The ability to extend the words written in books into full-blown stories is something that as both a teacher and a mother Bradshaw has experienced. The gift given by the Lilly Grant for her to truly bring the stories that she likely values most to life is certainly one that will reinvigorate her continued passion.

With two of Bradshaw’s children currently attending school on the Hill, they get to experience firsthand the results and effect of their mother’s work. Junior Sally Bradshaw said, “I am very excited for the upcoming trip, and I think that the program as a whole is really interesting and a worthwhile experience.”

When Carver received the award, she was able to take the summer and travel across the country. She visited eight different national parks with her husband and children. She said, “It was a grant that is supposed to rejuvenate your spirits for when you return to teaching in the fall.”

Upon hearing about Bradshaw’s grant, Carver said she was happy for her colleague. She said, “When I came back I definitely felt rejuvenated, so it definitely did what it was supposed to do. For that reason, I was really excited for her when I found out.”

Bradshaw’s trip is scheduled for this summer and after the deserved break, she is excited for what lies ahead. Bradshaw is not the only teacher or student excited for summer, however, and she hopes that other teachers will share in the enjoyment of the break. The grant has given her a chance to, as Bradshaw said, “go back to the teaching profession with more zeal and recommitment.” This idea is also one that she hopes other teachers will consider as well.

For the many other teachers on the Hill, Bradshaw hopes that they will also try to earn the Lilly Grant. Bradshaw said, “I just think that people should know how amazing it is that this grant even exists and I’m so grateful to be a Lilly Endowment for it. I think a lot of people talk about how teachers don’t necessarily make enough (money) and I think this goes to show the appreciation people really have for teachers, which is truly such a gift.”