Influencer of the Week: Valerie Bruton, Ocoee High School

Mrs. Bruton has been employed by Orange County Public Schools for 24 years.

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Valerie Bruton is the attendance clerk at Ocoee High School. In her position, among her many roles is making sure all attendance records are accurate. She also is popular with the students, who love when she dresses up in themed outfits during the school’s Spirit Weeks. She received the Support Person of the Year award at Freedom High School in 2015.


What brought you to your school?

I came to Ocoee High because I wanted to work close in our community where I grew up. 


What do you love most about your school?

I love our students, parents, teachers and principal. Our school is family, and that makes going to work each day enjoyable. 


What is your motivation?

My motivation is helping students succeed. 


What is the most rewarding part of your job?

It makes me happy when students tell me that they enjoy talking to me every day and I have made an impact on their high school experience and made it better for them. 


What do you like to do in your spare time?

I love spending time with family and going to the beach. 


Who was your favorite teacher when you were in school? Why?

I liked most of my teachers. I was very shy in school. If I could go back to high school again, I would try out for everything. 


When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? Why?

I always wanted to be a wife and mom, and I am both.


What is your favorite children’s book and why?

I loved any of Dr. Seuss’ books. 


What are your hobbies?

I love swimming and going to thrift stores. 


If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?

My superpower would be healing people. I would rid the world of cancer and childhood diseases. I lost my sweet, beautiful mom to cancer this past June.


If you could only listen to three bands or artists for the rest of your life, what would they be and why?

I love Queen, Styx, Morgan Wallen and Kane Brown. 


What was your go-to lunch as an elementary student? Were there any favorite snacks or special treats you remember?

Tildenville Elementary had the best homemade food. Middle school and high school had the best square pizzas and peanut butter chocolate bars. 


What is your favorite holiday and why?

Christmas is my favorite holiday of the year. I love giving presents and watching people open their gifts. I love driving around town looking at Christmas lights. 


Who was your best friend when you were in school and why? Are you still in touch?

My best friend in school was Debbie Yawn. Yes, we are still good friends. We met in the third grade. 


What were your extracurricular activities as a student? Did you win any accolades or honors?

I played the clarinet and played softball at West Orange Girls Club. My dad was a coach for many years. 




Amy Quesinberry

Community Editor Amy Quesinberry was born at the old West Orange Memorial Hospital and raised in Winter Garden. Aside from earning her journalism degree from the University of Georgia, she hasn’t strayed too far from her hometown and her three-mile bubble. She grew up reading The Winter Garden Times and knew in the eighth grade she wanted to write for her community newspaper. She has been part of the writing and editing team since 1990.