Bradley Parents Meet at Preschool


Bradley alumni reunited when their sons attended the same Seattle preschool. From left are Nicole Sutterfield Ross ’97 and Joe Ross ’96, with son Finley; Jim Bak ’94 and Sarah Kiewit Bak ’95, with son Elliott; and Scott Johnson ’93, with his son, Drew. Photo courtesy Scott Johnson.

A future generation of potential Bradley students brought together a group of parent-alumni at a Seattle preschool, with an assist from Bradley Alumni Association license plate frames. 

Nicole Sutterfield Ross ’97 and Joe Ross ’96, Jim Bak ’94 and Sarah Kiewit Bak ’95, and Erin and Scott Johnson ’93 all have sons at Ms. Tara’s Preschool, a school of 25 families in the Wedgwood neighborhood. 

“We realized the connection through our Bradley alumni license plate covers,” Sarah explained. 

“My wife was dropping off our son at school one day when Sarah saw my alumni license plate,” added Scott, a newspaper reporter. 

“We didn’t know the other Bradley families before enrolling our son at preschool,” said Nicole, an early childhood music specialist and the only one of the parents originally from the Seattle area. “It was complete coincidence.” 

The group didn’t know each other while at Bradley but had mutual connections. “Jim, Sarah, and I had an incredible number of common friends once we sat down and talked about it,” Scott noted.

Although they did not know Scott while on the Hilltop, Sarah and Jim were aware of him. “We knew of him by his nickname. He was elusive, though,” Jim said. “We would hear ‘we were just with him,’ or ‘so-and-so is with him,’ but never met him.” 

Jim, a marketing specialist, and Sarah remember the “Residence Hall of the Future” with its desktop computers and printers in most rooms. But to them, Bradley was more than the electronics. “It was the friendships that I’ll always remember,” Jim said. “Some of my best friends today go back to my Bradley days.” 

Nicole agreed: “I have many great friendships that started at Bradley and continue today.” 

While the group shares the Bradley Experience, the children who brought them together — including Finley Ross, Elliott Bak, and Drew Johnson — are too young to appreciate the bond their parents share. “We may have mentioned it before, but I’m not sure it really resonates with our kids yet,” Nicole said. 

— B.G.



Mastering Martial Arts 

Uniting his appreciation for martial arts with his entrepreneurial attitude, Adam Bockler ’11 became the official owner of Metamora Martial Arts in January 2013. “I’ve always had an entrepreneurial desire, and once I achieved my black belt in karate my senior year of high school, I knew I’d want my own program one day,” Bockler noted. “I just didn’t think it would be this soon.” 

Adam trains in karate, tai chi chuan and Hsing-i chuan. He started training at Metamora Martial Arts in his early teens after Joe Chianakas, MLS ’08 developed it as an after-school program. “He enhanced my life so much doing what he did. I’m doing what I can to give back,” Adam said. 

Featured in a photo for the September 2013 issue of Taekwondo Times, Adam works as a communications manager with Float Mobile Learning and lives in Metamora, Ill. 

“Martial arts are something you can always take with you,” he explained. “You always have your hands, your elbows, your knees, your feet, and most importantly, your mind.”

— B.G.