MHS Welcomes New Director of Guidance
By Michael McInnis Staff Reporter · August 22, 2011
New MHS Director of Guidance, Career and Academic Enhancement, Peter Bruce.
Discovering the answers to three deceptively simple questions can often spell the difference between success and utter frustration for many students. Who am I? Where am I going? How do I get there?
Luckily for Milford High School, helping students to answer those questions is the new Director of Guidance, Career and Academic Enhancement, Peter Bruce.
"I grew up in Maine, but I call Massachusetts home," Bruce noted, who had recently worked in Charleston, S.C.
Having made the decision to return to Massachusetts where he had spent 17 years as a Guidance Counselor and Director of Guidance, Bruce was attracted to the Milford vacancy because it encompassed so many roles. Beyond the traditional duties, the Milford position offers opportunities to work with the community, Superintendent and high school Principal along with offering input on curriculum. Bruce's experience in grant writing will also play an important role in his new position.
Since joining MHS, in early July, Bruce has immersed himself in the dynamics of the department. "One of the things that I'm impressed with is the structure," he noted, which he said is a legacy of former Director Albert Mercado. Bruce will also rely heavily on an experienced staff, which includes five Guidance Counselors and the department's Administrative Assistant, Susan McCallum.
Bruce said, one of the biggest challenges for educators is in "making sure that students are prepared (and) that they have the skills" necessary to "become productive citizens" post-graduation.
The Milford school district offers a "menu of options" for meeting that challenge, according to Bruce. "There's 'virtual' school, vocational school, dual credit programs (which allow students to earn college credits while in high school)" and other aids which are tailored to various segments of the student population. In today's educational climate, utilizing a "one size fits all" approach is a thing of the past.
Bruce, who has a Master's degree in school counseling, feels strongly that technology in the classroom plays an important role" in preparing students, so that they "have the skills to go into any industry that they desire" and improve the relevance of what they are learning. It's effective, he noted, "because that's what (they) are used to".
Parental involvement is also important, he said, noting, "A parent can be helpful (by) actively being engaged and know what's going on in the student's life, from an academic, social and personal level." Bruce suggested parents "take time out of their day, to be with the student; asking questions and having the student know that they care about what is going on. "If a student knows you care, then you are more than half-way there."
As the new school year approaches, Bruce is working on schedules, arranging "some professional development for our department", and planning to reach out to the community "to bring in more partnerships", to benefit students. Bruce noted Superintendent Robert Tremblay is " trying to make the town of Milford the larger classroom (by) bringing in partnerships and having students go out into the community."
"I'm excited about being here and working with the administration, staff, students and parents," he said.
An added benefit to Bruce's new job, is the opportunity to share again in the local pro sports enthusiasm." I missed 'all-sports, all the time'," he confessed. "I couldn't wait to get back (to Massachusetts). I'm a New-Englander, at heart."