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Gibson Art Teacher Retiring After 29 Years with WS/FCS
May 12, 2023 – Gibson Elementary School Art Teacher Sue Bruce is retiring at the end of this school year, closing out an illustrious 29-year career with Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools.
A graduate of the district who has lived in Forsyth County practically all her life, Bruce didn’t always plan on being a teacher. She started out as a long-term sub when her own children were in school, and when she began teaching full time at Reynolds High School, she was initially overwhelmed by the demands of the job. Fortunately, she had a strong support system of other teachers who encouraged her to take a few months to settle into the role, and she eventually found that the difference she was able to make in children’s lives was worth the stress it could cause.
“I’ll be honest, I struggled at first, but it just took some time for me to get acclimated,” Bruce said. “I always get up in the morning excited to go to work. I have friends in other jobs who are miserable. Every Sunday night, they’re just dreading having to go to work in the morning. I never feel that way.”
Part of the reason she never dreads going to work is because of how happy art class makes her students. Art is an essential outlet for people of all ages to express themselves, and for kids just beginning to realize their own creative abilities, it can be the most important part of their school day. Bruce shares the pride each of her students feels when they make something new and then get to see it hanging in the halls. When someone compliments her on the work her class produces, she’s quick to remind them that the kids did all the work – she’s just happy she got to make them feel like the stars they are.
“Every kid should have a place where they can shine,” Bruce said. “For some kids, getting to come in here and be creative is their place to shine.”
Gibson has been a good home for Bruce since she started at the school in 2007, and leaving isn’t a decision she’s making lightly. She’ll be sorely missed for the smiles and sparks of creativity she helped bring out of her art students. She’ll miss them just as much – like any great teacher, it was always about the kids for her.
“There’s a lot more you can do with older students in art, but I really do love the little ones,” Bruce said. “I’m going to miss the little ones.”
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