Last week the Milford School District announced that it has selected Ms. Judith Bruns as the Teacher of the Year for the 2012-2013 school year. Ms. Bruns is an Agriscience teacher at Milford High School, where she has spent 9 of her last 16 years as a teacher. Born and raised on a farm in Milford, Bruns has been working with animals her entire life. After attending the University of Delaware to be a veterinarian, she decided that teaching was the right decision for her.
“It is a great honor to be named the Milford School District Teacher of the year,” stated Bruns. “I know there are many amazing teachers in our district, and I was definitely not expecting to receive this award.”
Bruns is Nationally Board Certified in Agriscience and belongs to numerous professional organizations including the Delaware Association of Agriscience Educators. She is highly active in the Future Farmers of America (FFA) chapter at Milford High, coaching students in the chapter at state and national competitions as well as volunteering time at local and state community events. In 2002, 2006, and 2011 she was recognized as the Delaware Association of Agriscience Educators Teacher of the Year and in 2011 she was awarded as the National Association of Agriscience Educators Teacher of the Year.
“I try to get to know each of my students, but there is no replacement for spending time with a student,” stated Bruns. “The FFA takes the students out of the classroom and allows us, as advisors, to interact with them more closely, without a teacher desk in between us.”
The selection process for the district Teacher of the Year begins as each school in the district selects a Teacher of the Year who is then eligible to represent the district at the state level. A committee of 11 members, representing former district Teachers of the Year, parents, and the School Board, met over a period of two evening s to make the selection. The 7 candidates included Susan Wyman from Morris Early Childhood Center, Ambriah Johnson from Benjamin Banneker, Todd Mentzer from Mispillion, Erin Gannon from Lulu Ross, Nancy Poinsett from Milford Middle, Heather Fitzgerald from Milford Central Academy, and Judith Bruns from Milford High. Each candidate was asked to submit a videotaped lesson, written responses to questions on what influenced them to become a teacher and asked to personally present to the committee.
“I love so many things about my career; I enjoy interacting with today’s students, they are such a diverse group,” stated Bruns. “I enjoy helping a student succeed when they thought they couldn’t do something, whether that is completing a difficult assignment, passing a class, or wining an FFA competition.”
Ms. Bruns will now represent the Milford School District in the State of Delaware Teacher of the Year selection process. The State Teacher of the Year will be announced in October.
“My students often comment or ask me if I like being a teacher and I tell them that I love it,” commented Bruns. “I don’t ever want to wake up and think, “bah, I wish I didn’t have to go to school today.” Each day is different, and as I told my cooperating teacher when I completed my student teaching 16 years ago, I didn’t know you could get paid for having that much fun.”