Scott Braly’s room full of wonders

While walking through GBHS you may come across a room in the science building filled with a multitude of animal heads. This is Scott Braly’s room, the NGSS Biology and Fish and Wildlife teacher.

Taxidermy animals such as fishes, otters, deers and even a bear fill Braly’s room. 

Braly started collecting these figures in 1988. He was on a bull hunt in Washington and was not able to get a shot off of any of them. As he walked back to his truck, discouraged, he came across his first finding: deer antlers.

¨(After that) I was contacted by taxidermys that gave animals to (the school)…. A bunch come from parents and grandparents who go to Back to School Night,” Braly said.

Parents don’t want to throw these animals away because it may be important or have a connection to loved ones. Then they come to the classroom and end up adding to Braly’s collection.

“It’s a neat legacy (for) a lot of people that have given (the animals)…they belong to the students and in a way to (GBHS),” Braly said. 

Having these animals allows Braly to not just teach from pictures, but instead have animals that the class can look at close up and touch. 

“It’s a connection between the inside of the classroom and the outside wildlife world and it’s cool to see the wonder behind a kid’s eyes when he sees them,” Braly said.

For kids in his class, he introduces the animals to them and allows them to come in before or after class to ask questions. Students are allowed to touch the animals but only in a certain way to where they can last a long time and be taken care of. Taking care of the animals is a necessity to be able to keep them for a long period of time.

 “Anyone can put an animal on the wall and make it look dead but….a taxidermist is an artist and these animals are (their)  canvas,” Braly said. 

Each animal tells a different story. For example, the beaver in his room was hit by a student driving on a road nearby GBHS. They brought the animal to Braly because they knew he would have wanted to add it to his collection.

“We raised the money from students and got (the beaver) taxidermied for the classroom,” Braly said.

These stories will live on in many students’ minds since there is no classroom in the district quite like Bralys’.