Degrees and Certifications:
Degrees/Licenses: Special Education K-12, Reading K-12, Regular/General Education K-6.
Mr. Millard Wayne Bruton Jr
Greetings, I am Mr. Bruton. I am one of the exeptional education teachers at Highland Middle School.
A little about me:
I am origionally from Los Angeles California and enjoyed the opportunity of living in a diverse neighborhood while attending a school with students from many cultural backgrounds. In Los Angeles, we celebrated diversity and shared traditions at school, home, and through local celebrations. As a teacher, I believe it is important to learn about and appreciate people from other cultures. This helps our students to be more accepting of one another and to remain more open-minded to meeting people of different backgrounds as our world becomes smaller and smaller through use of technology and interaction with people from all over the world. Your students will find in my classroom, artifiacts from different cultures as I am able to accumulate them. I enjoy when they ask questions about these items and love to share stories of how I obtained them or how they connect to my own life or lives of other people that I have known.
Upon moving to North Carolina when I was young, I began attending Harnett County Schools. I am an alumni of Western Harnett High School.
I served for several years as an Office Operations Manager for a Telecommunications Company in North Carolina with offices in Sanford, Erwin, and Roxboro. In 2004, my son was involved in a horrific motor vehicle accident. He was 17 at the time. As a result of the accident, he acquired a Traumatic Brain Injury. I spent 90 days in the hospital with him at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. There were several ups and downs while he went in and out of comas. During his recovery, we had to re-teach him how to eat, walk, communicate, toileting, and many other functions that we take for granted in our lives. My son's real road to recovery did not begin until he was discharged from the hospital. It was during his Senior year in high school that I was introduced to an IEP (Individualized Education Plan). During this time, I learned about the dedication that Special Educators had for their students who had special needs. I became involved with his school and brought my son's story and my opinion of the school's valuable assistance to WRAL News where Amanda Lamb did a human interest piece. In the interview we shared classroom accommodations and the school's willingness to help my son with his newly acquired disability. We were also afforded an opportunity to express our faith in God on camera as we counted our many blessings.
Following this experience, I left my position as Office Operations Manager and began working for The Stevens Center in Sanford, NC. The Steven's Center provides programs and services for persons with developmental disabilities. I entered the Stevens Center as a Project Manager for the Winner's program which helped persons with disabilities to find employment. We also contracted with Vocational Rehabilitiation and worked within the school system itself in evaluating the Occupational Course of Study among students in the High School setting. While working at the Stevens Center, I met a young man who is in the Autism Spectrum. It seemed that many had given up on him and had seemingly placed a cap on what they perceived as the peak of his abilities. I chose to take this person under my wing and to present those who had worked with him in the past as well as his family with a different mindset. What was once perceived as a cap or a limitation for this individual had begun to change into a shining rocket that had grown from a lot of previously unrecognized potential.
During my three years at the Stevens Center, I was advised by many that I should return to college and become a Special Education Teacher. That is what I ended up doing. I became an honors graduate from East Carolina University (which was the first "Teacher's School" in North Carolina). I have a bachelor's degree in Special Education grades K-12, a reading add-on for grades K-12, and I am certified to teach K-6 in the General Education Curriculum. My interests are in working with students who have special needs. I believe there is potential in every one of my students and will do my best to capture their attention, harness their interests and abilities, and help them to excel to their highest potential.
More about me: I am married to another Harnett County teacher who works with students who have visual impairments. My wife is blind, which gives her that special edge when working with students who also have difficulties with vision. In addition I have a son who is doing fantastically well and has been spotted by many in the past working at the Western Harnett PTO Thrift shop (raising money for our classroom). He also volunteers at the Food Bank and serves others in the community by assisting with grocery runs, doctor appointments, and yard work. I also have a daughter who is beginning 3nd grade at Highland Elementary this year while participating in the dual-emersion setting. In this setting, she is learning English and Spanish in the classroom from grades K-5.
I am the kind of person that likes for people to realize their successes and not to put limitations on their abilities. Sometimes we have to try a little harder in life to get things right. Thankfully, we live in a forgiving world that affords opportunities for mistakes. That is also how I view our classroom learning environment. It is fine to learn through mistakes. That is something that we must all accept within ourselves so that we can grow into better and stronger people.
I have a lot of interests outside of school. I have a love for history, politics, nature, family, and my church where I am a Deacon, Sunday School teacher, co-Youth Director, and active member of the safety and security teams at Swann Station Baptist Church in Sanford (Swann Station).
I would like to point out that our classroom is blessed to have a wonderful veteran teacher's assistant with a heart of gold and much love to share with our students. We are looking forward to all of the great things that we will accomplish this year at Highland Middle School.