Thales Academy-Franklin Administrator Rachael Bradley to Speak on Direct Instruction with Parents Tuesday Night at Gate Community Church


Live from Nashville, Tennessee Friday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m.– Leahy was joined on the line by all-star panelist and Thales Academy administrator Rachael Bradley.

During the first segment, Bradley who is the administrator of the new Thales Academy of Franklin, Tennessee, highlighted the school’s history, advantages of the academy’s direct instruction methodology and its affordability for local families seeking a quality private education.

Leahy: We are joined on the line now by our good friend and the new administrator at Thales Academy-Franklin, Tennessee which is going to offer affordable private education to K-3 students at the very beginning of Thales Academy in the Nashville area. Welcome, Rachael Bradley.

Bradley: Hi Mike. Good morning. It’s great to be with you today.

Leahy: We are looking forward to seeing you. Tell us a little bit about Thales Academy. How long it’s been around. What it does. What distinguishes Thales Academy from other schools today.

Bradley: Absolutely. Well, Thales Academy is as you said a private school started in 2007. Our founder is Mr. Robert Luddy. Bob had a vision, and he saw a need and created a solution. And that’s how Thales Academy was born. And I’m just really honored to be a part of it. We’ve had extensive growth. We’re so excited to come to Nashville.

As you said, we’re going to start our first campus in Franklin as a K-3 campus. We do have eight campuses in the Raleigh-Durham area in North Carolina from Pre-K-12. We’ve had tremendous success. And really our mission is to provide an excellent high-quality education at an affordable cost to families which isn’t something that’s been out there before.

Leahy: And you have extensive experience in teaching using the direct instruction methodology. We’ll talk about that in just a second. You will be here as I think will Bob Luddy, and I will be here at this event at the Gate Community Church on this coming Tuesday, February 11 at 6:30 p.m. That’s at 3835 Carothers Parkway, Franklin, Tennessee.

If you are driving in right now and you’re going up on Highway 65 and just about to hit the intersection with Highway 96 that goes to downtown Franklin or to Murfreesboro. Look to your right. You’ll see right next to the Sunvertible the Gate Community Church, and it’s going to be right there and very well located.

I’m excited to see you. And by the way, you’ll be here in the studio to talk about that as well. Tell us if you will Rachael, what is direct instruction and why is it so effective at teaching reading, writing, and arithmetic?

Bradley: Direct instruction is a teaching methodology. It’s got 40 plus years of research data-driven. The foundation of direct instruction is maintaining high time on task and maximizing student engagement. And what I tell families is that all of our children are engaged all of the time. So when that’s happening, you know learning is taking place every minute of the day.

We don’t have a lot of downtime which eliminates behavior issues. When kids are engaged and you’re doing something that they are enjoying, then they aren’t doing those other problem behaviors. And then because it’s data-driven we are ensuring that we’re teaching to mastery and nobody is falling threw the cracks. And that’s really what sets us apart.

Leahy: By the way, I’ve been to the Thales Academy K-5 schools in Raleigh and you watch these kids in action and the teachers and it’s fabulous to see the level of engagement. You also have a nice 20-minute video that you will be playing this Tuesday so people can see how direct instruction works.

Bradley: We do. And to that end, I strongly encourage people to visit our website if you are at all interested in what we are doing. We have those videos posted on our website. It’s a great overview of what direct instruction looks like in a Thales Academy classroom and how engaging and fun it can be.

Leahy: And that’s at And by the way, if you want to sign up, you can sign up right now to come and hear Rachael Bradley talk about Thales Academy which is opening in July in Franklin. You can meet Bob Luddy, the founder of this. I’m going to be there. Say hello to me please on Tuesday night.

Go to Thales You can sign up right there, and we’d love to see you. The other thing that strikes me about Thales Academy Rachael is this, it’s very affordable. What is tuition going to be for students who enroll in Thales Academy starting in July in Franklin, Tennessee?

Bradley: Our tuition will be $6,000 flat for the entire school year. We’re also going to offer a $300.00 discount incentive to the first 100 students enrolled. That brings you down to $5,700.00. We also offer a $300.00 full pay discount. So if you choose to pay your tuition upfront in July before the school year starts, then you’re only paying $5,400.00 which is a steal.

Leahy: Wow.

Bradley: There are people out there paying more for preschool and daycare. I know for myself personally, I pay twice that for my son to go to preschool. We are offering quality education with the goal of reaching as many families as possible.

Leahy: And when the people come to the parent informational meeting this Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at the Gate Community Church in Franklin they will learn a little bit of how you are able to deliver a high-quality education at that low cost. If you pre-pay for the year. Full-year tuition is only $5,400.00. I think that’s probably less than half of what other private schools in the Williamson County area are right now. That’s pretty good.

Bradley: It really is. It’s really unbelievable what we’re able to do. And having Mr. Luddy as our founder, he’s an entrepreneur and businessman who has a different mindset of how you can operate a school successfully. And we’ve shown that now since 2007.

Leahy: Tell us a little bit Rachael about your personal story. You’ve been teaching direct instruction at an extraordinary high-level for some time now. Where are you from and how long you’ve been teaching?

Bradley: I am a graduate of Virginia Tech. Go Hokies! My hometown.

Leahy: Go Hokies!

Bradley: Yes sir. I received my degree in family and child development as well as my master’s degree in education from Virginia Tech. Then I heard about a charter school in Wake Forest, North Carolina which is also a Luddy school that utilizes direct instruction. So that was my first teaching experience. Honestly, Mike, I was blown away.

I tell everybody. I was teaching kindergarten when all of my kindergartners were reading, I was sold. I just had never seen anything like it. So I stuck with it. Loved it. It was a great place to teach. I got married and relocated for a period to south Alabama. And then I was teaching in a title one public school and that was a whole different ballgame.

Leahy: A different ballgame. I think you stuck with direct instruction there and succeeded extraordinarily well there?

Bradley: Absolutely. Once you’ve been trained and you’ve seen how well it works, it’s easy to keep those basic tenets and use them in our classroom no matter where you are teaching. It really did help me find success even being in a different school. In 2013, we were able to move back to Raleigh, North Carolina and I started teaching at Thales Academy in first grade.

Again, it was a pleasure to be back and be part of that great school system. After a few years, I was offered an administration position. I moved from being able to impact my classroom to be able to impact an entire school by mentoring and teaching new teachers in the Thales way.

Leahy: I think you’ve hired and are in the process of finishing the hiring teachers. How many teachers will you have to start with who will be delivering this direct instruction methodology to K-3 students in Franklin?

Bradley: Well we only need four to start with. We’ve already hired one. She’s super excited. She’s already been in North Carolina with me all week learning on campus. We want her to be as well prepared as possible. And one of the great things we do at Thales is ongoing side by side teaching for all of our new teachers, so we can ensure everybody is implementing it accurately and at the highest level.

Leahy: Well Rachael Bradley, thanks so much for joining us. You will be joining us Tuesday at the seven o’clock hour. By the way Rachael you are now an official all-star panelist on The Tennessee Star Report. (Laughs) So you’ll be here regularly here with us in the studio and on the phone between now and when you start school in July.

Please come and visit with Rachael and Bob Luddy and me, Tuesday night at 6:30 p.m. at the Gate Community Church in Franklin on Carothers Parkway. Go to to sign up right now.

Listen to the first hour:

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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Photo “Rachael Bradley” by Thales Academy.







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