Demon of DHS

Brianna Brown, Head Specials Editor

For this issue, Demons of DHS features Kristina Bruton, an English teacher here at Durango High School. Bruton currently teaches AP Language and Composition, but has taught all grades of English for many years prior. The enthusiasm and eagerness Bruton brings each day to help her students be their best is said to be what keeps many of her students interested. Bruton pushes students to their max but is a teacher that really cares about her students and will always be one to support them in whatever way she can. She never lets her students give up until they have completed the best work they possibly can. Further is a Q&A with Bruton to better understand her and where she came from.

How many years have you taught? Anywhere besides Durango ? If so, where and how long?

This is my 20th year of teaching. I taught for 13 years in Jefferson County, which is on the Front Range before coming to 9-R.

How long have you lived in Durango and what brought you here?

I have lived in Durango a little over 8 years. My husband grew up here. He wanted to leave behind the crowds and pollution of the Denver area, but that never bothered me. I am a “city girl” at heart but have come to appreciate Durango for its natural beauty and quirkiness.

Where did you go to college?

I went to CU-Boulder for undergrad. I went to St. Mary’s College in California for my teacher preparation program, and I went to CSU for my master’s.

How did you decide you wanted to be a teacher?

I think I always knew I wanted to be a teacher, but my first career was in public relations. After marrying in 1994 and moving to the San Francisco Bay Area, I gave up my job in PR, and my husband asked, “Is there anything else you ever wanted to do?” I said, “teaching,” and so I used the opportunity to go back to school.

What is your favorite thing about teaching? Why did you decide English?

I get paid to do what I love: talk about literature! I also especially love high school students because you can engage with them in discussions about literature that are so fascinating. My students teach me every day.

What is one thing you wish students knew about you prior to having your class?

Previous students have said that I am “tough but fair.” I think that is a pretty accurate assessment.

What is your favorite thing to do outside of teaching? Tell me about that….

Run. It’s my therapy. Some people go on vacation to bask in the sun on a beach. I go on “vacation” to pound the pavement for 26.2 miles and pay for the privilege. It’s nuts, I know.

Tell me an interesting/memorable story or experience that we could use to get to know

you better.

Oh, geez. That’s a hard one. Well, I suppose most people don’t know that my first job out of college was as the assistant to the public relations director at Neiman Marcus in Cherry Creek. I know. It’s hilarious. Bruton working in the high-fashion world. Needless to say, I never quite felt comfortable coordinating special events with gorgeous models for some of the wealthiest people in Denver. I’m much more comfortable in a town that was named the “least fashion conscious” by USA Today. At work, I’m lucky if I accessorize beyond my security badge, and when I’m not at work, I don’t like to wear makeup. I guess I’ve found my home.