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Teacher Spotlight with Mr. Redden

posted Mar 4, 2015, 12:30 PM by School Publications   [ updated Mar 4, 2015, 12:31 PM ]
    He’s not just a high school English teacher, but also a running enthusiast. Mr. Travis Redden teaches all four years of English at Brownstown High School, as well as the school publications class that manages the district website. A native of Benton, Illinois he has been in and around Southern Illinois his entire life. After graduating from SIU Carbondale he started his  teaching career at Johnston High School before teaching one year at an alternative school in St. Louis. He has been teaching at Brownstown for the last six years and is enjoying every minute of it. When he’s not teaching the classics you may find him out on the trails in Illinois and Missouri.

This hobby all started during Mr. Redden’s 6th grade year when his basketball coach Matt Wynn approached him to ask if he would be interested in running a couple of jr. high cross country meets. His school did not have a cross country team but Mr. Wynn encouraged young Travis to attend a local event and he ended up qualifying for state. Once Mr. Redden gained success in running he quickly became hooked on the sport.

Mr. Redden ran cross country and track throughout high school and continued at Rend Lake Community College. His high school coaches and teachers such as Rod Shurtz, Don Webb, and Matt Malkovich inspired him to work hard, both in and out of the classroom, and all had a huge influence on why he became a teacher. In college Redden had the privilege to work under Brent Mclain, a running legend in Southern Illinois. Mr. Mclain won several junior college national championships as a coach at Rend Lake and Mr. Redden was fortunate enough to be a part of one of those teams.

Today Mr. Redden runs for fun. Long distance trail races including 50K, 50 mile, and even 100 mile races are his favorite. As Mr. Redden ages he says he is losing speed, so he enjoys the challenge of long distance, but the best part of this activity are all the friends he has met along the way. “You are always running into the same people at these crazy events and there is ample time to talk to them on the trails and in turn make some really good friends,” stated Redden.He is a member of two prestigious groups: The Metro Tri Club and The SLUGS (St. Louis Ultra Runners Group). “Running with these groups and friends really make your weekend and night runs enjoyable.” As long as Mr. Redden races BHS will always cheer him on.   

Recently he finished a 100 mile urban road race in Knoxville, Tennessee called “The Pistol” in 19 hours and 10 minutes. When not traveling to races Mr. Redden enjoys running at several parks in Missouri such as Greenrock, Lone Elk, and the Mark Twain National Forest. He usually stays around SIUE to log his weekday miles. One of his most memorable races include a 50 mile race in Leadville, Colorado, the highest town in the country.

Mr. Redden doesn’t run because he has to, but for the pleasure of it all. Running helps him stay mentally and physically fit. Sometimes he doesn’t feel like running, but he always feels better after a jog. “Running is the best way for me to de stress after a hard day at the “office”.” Even students are benefitting from Mr. Redden's relaxation therapy! Running is one activity that he hopes to continue for as long as he can.

By William Koonce