2010 IWU graduate Braeden Kershner grew up in Goose Creek, S.C. With the dream of a career in conducting, he learned to play a variety of instruments. Seeing an ad saying that fans could conduct the Boston Pops if they made a significant donation to the orchestra, Braeden set out to make it happen. He mowed lawns in the neighborhood, took a job at the local Waffle House, and delivered pizzas and newspapers. When the Pops performed in South Carolina not far from Goose Creek, Braeden got his chance to conduct. The Pops even returned his money to help him pay for college.
Braeden went on to join the Marines. After his term of service, he became the band director at Stall High School in North Charleston, South Carolina. But Braeden did more than just teach. He obtained his commercial driver’s license so he could bring kids to practice. He taught his students teamwork, provided encouragement, and helped them succeed.
Kershner was honored by the Charleston County School District as the first Teacher of the Month for the 2009–2010 school year. District superintendent Nancy McGinley praised his efforts to build a quality band program. Braeden was also featured on the November 5, 2010, edition of the Today Show because of the difference he is making as a teacher.
Braeden Kershner completed his Master of Education degree online through Indiana Wesleyan University. IWU offers a variety of Education programs through its residential campus in Marion, Indiana, at Education Centers and learning sites throughout Indiana and Ohio, and online.