Brian Bullis became principal of Caruso Middle School at the beginning of the 2012-2013 school year. Mr. Bullis offers a few answers to questions that will help the Caruso community get to know him.
Q: You’ve worked in high school (as a teacher, coach, activities director, assistant principal and dean), and in middle school (as a teacher, coach and assistant principal). What do you like about the middle school environment and middle school students that led you to your position?
I have had amazing experiences with both age groups, but middle school students have an elevated level of excitement and curiosity that I cannot help but be drawn to as an educator. When a teacher – and a whole school community – can harness those qualities and lead a student towards new learning experiences, it is an exciting process to watch.
Q: You were assistant principal at Shepard before moving west to become Caruso’s principal. What have you found to be similar between the two District 109 middle schools?
While we had a great year at Shepard celebrating its 50thanniversary last year and learning about the history of the school, the living history at Caruso is unique. It’s wonderful to be a part of a school named after a much-loved former superintendent who still is involved in the community and the schools. I look forward to Dr. Caruso stopping by his namesake building and sharing more about of the history of our school and community. Also, I noticed that the weather is much nicer over on this side of town!
Honestly, I’m not sure if there are stereotypes in Deerfield of “West Siders” and “East Siders,” but from my perspective so far, parents and staff are equally committed to student success on both sides of town. Deerfield is a community that shows how much it values education every day. I have experienced parental involvement that spans both ends of the spectrum in my educational career; I can truly appreciate parents who are invested in their child’s education.
Q: Tell us a little about your family.
My wife, Ann, and I have been married for close to four years. Ann is a high school Spanish teacher and needless to say we lean on one another often for professional guidance. She is from the area and we decided this is the place we wanted to raise a family so we made the move from Iowa a couple of years ago. We have a wonderful two-year old daughter, Catie. She has given both of us an entirely new perspective on education as we now can see the schools through the eyes of a parent.
Q: What do you think will be the hardest part of your first year at Caruso? What will be the best part?
The hardest part and the best part are probably one in the same. I am incredibly excited to meet all of our students, staff, and parents in the Caruso family and begin establishing important relationships that will foster student learning and growth. That is, of course, a lot of people to meet all at once so I need to remind myself to be patient and over time, that important piece will come together.
I think something else that might be difficult is tailoring my wardrobe to the job. Can someone explain why Mr. Fisher left me a reflective vest and heavy-duty rain gear?