While the Jefferson city school district Board of education was not able to keep during the last Council meeting in April reception for Steve Bruce, the Board acknowledged his surprise reception recognition on Tuesday.
Bruce served six years in the Board of education, from 2014-20. He was Treasurer from 2015-16, Vice-President in 2017 and the President from 2017-19.
After the Council members, heads of JC schools, and the wife of Bruce and daughters surprised him, superintendent Larry Linthacum gave him a plaque.
“With our gratitude for your time, talent and support of our students, parents and staff, we appreciate your skill level and your contribution to the future of our district. From the Jefferson city school Board district Board of education, administration, staff and students,” written on the label.
Usually, when the Council swears in new members at the meeting, they hold a small reception in honor of outgoing members. There was no reception at the end of Bruce in April, because the Board met virtually COVID-19.
Bruce said that he joined the Board to give back to the community, so she meant a lot to him that everyone has time to plan and be there to recognize him and his achievements.
“It’s nice to be recognized for the hard work that you put in and achievements that you can achieve when you are in the office, but that’s not why you do it,” he said. “So it was very humbling to see a room full of friends and former colleagues who made the time from your uploaded day, to be able to come and do it.”
Bruce said one of his biggest accomplishments of his time on Board was the first thing he did as a member of the Board of Directors, which ensures the safety in schools. It aims to provide students, teachers and the public was safe when they are in school buildings, he said, so he played a role in the modernization of the hallways in every school — about 10 — that do not have secure entrances.
Bruce said he was proud that when asked which school doors should be upgraded first, he and other Board members said they should do it quickly so no one had to wait for their safety.
“I am very proud that we made it,” he said.
Other achievements Bruce noted that the construction of the capital high school and the revitalization of the Jefferson city high school and how these two government funds projects within budget and on time.
He is also a proud Board started a conversation about how to improve academics, he said.
“It takes a lot of courage in public life and public service, whether you are chosen or are you a member of staff to admit that there are areas that you can do better and to do it publicly, and then start the process of looking at what you need to do to make this improvement later, so I was glad that the conversation started,” he said.
He said he hopes that the Council continues this conversation and focus on school.
“This mission is top priority, when it comes to the quality of life in our society and what it means to raise children in Jefferson city,” said he.
Bruce said he would not have been successful serving on the Board without the structure of support of their colleagues, friends, wife and daughter.
“When you serve on the Board training, there are hard days, there are long nights, a lot of work that people never see what goes into the decisions of the intestine, can be really difficult, what if you do everything right — will keep you up at night, you will lose a lot of sleep and you will be far away from your family for a long time,” he said. “I can’t emphasize enough that you really should have a good support structure because you have to have people who believe in what you’re trying to do.”
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