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As parents, teachers, and directors like Hattie Harrell and her successor, Wallace Bruce, raised academic standards, community awareness, and funds for Tucker-Maxon, support for the school also increased.Wallace Bruce became the director of Tucker-Maxon when Hattie Harrell retired in 1967.Another need that Dr. Bruce helped fill was that of supporting TMOS students once they entered schools with hearing students.Until the early 1970s, a typical student would attend a regular high school.According to the school's current executive director, Patrick Stone, Dr. Bruce and the staff felt the kids could be more successful in mainstreaming if TMOS provided support. Executive director Patrick Stone, who took over Dr. Bruce's position in 1978, co-chaired the event with Linda Werner, the school's development director at the time.
Sunshine Cottage: LISTEN (keywords: deaf, school, auditory, child, children, cochlear implant, talk, speak, speech, listen, hearing aids, hearing impaired)
Dr. Wallace Bruce whose influence at Sunshine Cottage, who first felt as Director of the school and later as Program Coordinator of the Master's Degree Program for Educators of the Hearing Impaired, retired on August 1, 1999.The Sunshine Cottage family has had the very distinct honor and good fortune of directly benefiting from the foresight and wisdom of this sensitive man for almost 20 years.Dr. Bruce began his career in deaf education in 1964 at the Utah School for the Deaf where he worked as an elementary school teacher and parent counselor.His profession took him from coast to coast as he held positions at Clarke School for the Deaf in Northampton, Mass., back to Utah and then to Tucker Maxon Oral School in Portland, Ore. Always seeking, always learning, always open to better methods and new ideas, Dr. Bruce completed his doctorate in the field of education.While in Portland, he was also coordinator of the Teacher Education program at the Tucker Maxon/Pacific University.He returned to Salt Lake City as Curriculum Coordinator of the Salt Lake Oral Unit of the Utah School for the Deaf before coming to Sunshine Cottage as Director of the school, a position he held from 1980-1991.Realizing the need and lack of programs in Texas to train teachers of the deaf in the auditory-oral method, Dr. Bruce resigned in 1991 as Director of the Cottage to initiate and direct the master's degree program at what was then Incarnate Word College.Under his direction and tutelage, 26 graduates have received their master's degrees from this program.While always in touch and accessible to students, families, and teachers, Dr. Bruce realized the importance of networking and collaboration among professionals in the field of deaf education.He helped charter the Organization of Educators of the Hearing Impaired (O.E.O.H.I.) through the Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing as well as the Texas Chapter of the Alexander Graham Bell Association.The latter sponsors state-wide biennial conferences networking parents of hearing-impaired children, individuals with hearing loss, and professionals in the field.In addition, he was instrumental in forming OPTION, an organization of private schools advocating the oral method of teaching children with hearing impairment.To have had such a man at Sunshine Cottage has certainly put the school in the forefront of auditory-oral education.His influence is and will be felt in the children he has taught, the families he has influenced, and the teachers he has trained.His legacy to the field of oral deaf education will be passed on through them, to use one of his favorite terms -- exponentially. It has been our privilege, honor, and great fortune to have had you with us, Dr. Bruce ; your presence will be missed, but your inspiration will be with us always.Sunshine Cottage receives largest grant in its history.