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Welcome to the Brainstorm Blog! The primary news source the Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science (MSMS), Mississippi's only public, residential high school dedicated to the development of the state's most academically gifted students.

MSMS Says Goodbye To Mr. Bratton

This past Friday, MSMS said goodbye to one of her own for the second time.  Don Bratton, who has taught chemistry and biology courses at the school for nearly four years, has accepted another position and left the school.

Bratton taught Cell Biology, Human Infectious Diseases, Chemical Reactions, Microbiology, and Energy and Equilibrium of Chemical Systems. He also sponsored a number of extracurricular clubs and activates.

Not only was Bratton a popular instructor at MSMS, but he is also a 2002 graduate of MSMS. Before coming to the school he taught at other high schools all over America. He holds degrees in chemistry and biology from the University of Southern Mississippi and a Master’s in chemistry from Florida State University.

“This is the hardest decision I’ve ever made,” said Bratton. “I’ve said before that it would take something really special to even consider leaving, and this is that really special thing.”

The really special thing Bratton refers to is the position he has accepted through a company called Smart Sparrow. He will help develop biology curriculum to be aimed toward non-science major college freshmen, to hopefully get those students interested in the science, technology, mathematics, and engineering fields. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation support the program. Bratton will do his work in Phoenix, Arizona and partner with a group at the University of Arizona.

“It’s tough, but when I consider what we stand for here, which is high standards, authentic teaching, depth and rigor, and developing leaders for tomorrow, I’m still going to be doing that,” said Bratton. “It will be different. It will be elsewhere, but I’ll still be doing what MSMS does. I still want to come back and contribute and be a part of the community as much as I can.”

Bratton’s final day at MSMS was Friday, January 30. A going-away-party was held the day before for Bratton in Ms. Zarandona’s classroom. Many of Bratton’s colleagues stopped by to wish him well.

“Don’s expertise in biology and chemistry will be missed,” said MSMS chemistry instructor Kaye Truitt.

“It’s always fun to get to know people from other classes, and I enjoyed working with him as well,” said fellow chemistry instructor Dr. Elizabeth Morgan. Morgan is also an MSMS graduate.

“During Mr. Bratton's tenure at MSMS, he has helped students realize their potential in the sciences not only through his work in the classroom but through the opportunities that are afforded them across the United States,” said MSMS Director of Academic Affairs, Kelly Brown.

While we hate to see him go, MSMS wishes Mr. Bratton all the best, and we know he will make his school and his state proud.

Wade LeonardComment