Love For The Job

The life of a teacher outside the walls of McCluer North


Ian Obst

Mr. Brunts helps a student during his sixth hour graphic design class

Allison Starke, Correspondent

Six months old, and undergoing a unilateral cleft lip repair with a partial rhinoplasty in the fall of last year, but shortly after Clara was just as happy as ever in her dad’s arms. However, for Clara’s dad, art teacher Mr. Brunts, it was not such a happy experience.

Mr. Brunts’s daughters, Clara and Noelle, are nineteen months old. But at the age of just six months, the family found out that their daughter, Clara, would have to undergo a surgery that no baby should have to.

“Coming to work and not being able to be with my daughters and wife is a horrible feeling, but my colleagues helped a lot,” said Brunts.

With Clara being only six months old at the time, the situation made it hard on her because she did not know why she was going through this pain. She just knew she was in pain.

“Having one of your own kids need medical surgery or even just medical attention is like walking three miles all uphill,” said Ms. Scott, colleague and department chair of Mr. Brunts.

Ms. Scott and Mr. Brunts have a very parental-like relationship. When Brunts found out about his daughter needing surgery, he was nervous and raw as the procedure got closer. Scott comforted him by checking in on him every morning and evening with good morning hugs and words of insurance.

As the procedure got closer and closer, Mr. Brunts was out of work more often, but he made sure everything was perfect for his substitute teacher. He was always afraid that he forgot to leave assignments for the sub to give to the class.  His students are very important to him and he wants them to be well taken care of.

“Mr. Brunts is my biggest influence in life, he achieves many things, not just in art but in life. He is determined to give everything he has into his work, his students and his family. He spends as much time with his twins as he can; he is such a great dad. Mr. Brunts is a big mentor in my life,” said senior Dariann Louder.

Even though Mr. Brunts’ emotions were all over the place, his students understood what he was going through and helped any way they could. Students made him drawings that he said,  “made his week.” Mr. Brunts is idolized by his daughters and by many students.

“Mr. Brunts cares a lot about people. He listens to my problems and gives me advice when he probably has more important things to worry about, like his daughter going through surgery. He is always there for me whenever I need him to be, if I was crying he’d be my shoulder to cry on, and he always knew when something was wrong with me. I appreciate this man so much,” said former student Alyssa Walbridge.

As of now, Mr. Brunts’ daughter is doing amazing. She is healthy, happy and having a blast with her dad and the rest of the family. Mr. Brunts is happier than ever that the surgery went well with no complications and baby Clara is back home now with her sister Noelle happier and more playful than ever.