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DeBruin is ‘like a college professor’

Duncan DeBruin actively discussing Ancient Rome with his world history class. Photo by Joielle Speed.

Active. Caring. Outgoing. Funny. These are just a few words to describe Duncan DeBruin, world history and AP computer teacher at Renaissance High School. He has been teaching for 10 years and spent the last five years at Renaissance where he has loved the experience.

In addition to teaching, DeBruin holds a lot more to his name.

“A husband, a father, a mentor, a teacher, and hopefully someone who is trying his best to make the people that come into his life better,” DeBruin said.

His personality mixed with his teaching style makes being in his class an amazing experience, according to his students. It doesn’t take a lot of energy to have fun in his class.

“He gives us a big idea and then elaborates on it,” junior Ryon Williams said. “Then we talk about it while he relates it to current day.”

Most of the students who have him agree that his teaching style is unique and fits well into the culture here at RHS.

“He’s like a college professor,” junior Kenneth Rogers said. “He gives us something to think about, let’s us think and talk together as a class, and then comes back and discusses it with his thinking involved too.”

Unlike some classes, DeBruin’s class isn’t one that you can fall asleep in because of his loud and active personality.

“He can always uplift a class’s mood with his puns, jokes, and sense of humor,” Williams said.

Even his colleagues love his energy, the way he handles his classes, his personality, and how helpful he is to everyone around him.

“He is a very nice person, very generous,” said junior English teacher Curtis Towns. “He allows teachers and students access to his room, his microwave, his refrigerator. He’s very helpful if you need any support in any way; he extends his service and time to help.”

Townes said that DeBruin has a great sense of humor that can be viewed as a gift and a curse and recently, it proved to be a curse.

In the month of October, there were allegations of DeBruin being “racist” and “comparing black kids to slaves” when discussing Helots in Ancient Greece. The allegations were proven false but it left past and current students feeling as though they needed to defend his name.

“It didn’t really affect me but I know he jokes around a lot so I figured it was just taken out of context for real,” said Rogers.

The school has since then moved past the scandal. Students and teachers alike still see DeBruin as a mentor and good person and adore him as a teacher.

“It’s always an awesome feeling to know that there are some students who look to you to make an impact on their lives when honestly I think teachers always play an insignificant role just because you guys are already coming in as such great kids, both behaviorally and academically.” DeBruin said.

“But I mean if we are playing any small part, that’s awesome to know.”


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