Leesville graduates achieve greatness

Wyatt Bruton poses with his "Teach for China" students.
Wyatt Bruton poses with his "Teach for China" students.

Upon graduating from Leesville, students pursue many different paths. Whether it be working, attending school, or joining the military, all students find a path suited for them. However, some students choose a different route than most of their peers. Some Leesville graduates chose incredibly unorthodox ways to spend their years between college and settling down. To inspire Leesville’s most recent graduates, here’s a list of some of those special Loonies:

Wyatt Bruton: Wyatt graduated from Leesville in 2007 and attended UNC Chapel Hill for four years after. After graduating in 2011, Wyatt decided to work for a program called Teach for China, a non- profit organization  “seeking to end educational inequality in China.”  Through this program, Wyatt became a middle school English teacher in Guangdong Province, a small village in southern China. Students in China receive minimal educational opportunities compared to students in America. In fact, only a small fraction of students in China attend college after grade school; most become laborers in factories.. Wyatt seeks to inspire his 80 students to view education in a new light. According to his website,wyattinasia.com, he hopes to show his students “that they can achieve big, life-changing success in a year with hard work, dedication and resolve. It has been incredible to see many students with little self-confidence or hope at the start of the semester start to believe in themselves and their ability to succeed.”

Ali Fluke: Daughter of  front office staff member Mrs. Fluke, Ali chose a very interesting path after graduating from UNC Chapel Hill in 2009 with a business degree. Ali developed a passion for skiing after joining the ski team in college. Shortly after graduating, she decided to move to a ski resort in Breckenridge, Colorado where she taught resort visitors how to ski. After a year as an instructor, she took on a supervisory position at the resort. Despite the fact that Ali is living her dream, she is also continuing to take certification classes to further her career and set herself up for a high paying position after the 5 years she plans to spend on the resort. She hopes to remain in Colorado after her five years and pursue greater management positions at different ski resorts.

Shelley Fluke: Mrs. Flukes younger daughter, Shelley, chose a path quite different  than that of her skiing sister. After graduating from UNC Chapel Hill in 2011 with a business degree, Shelley sought an occupation where she could showcase her passion for scuba diving. She moved to south Florida where she “fell into” the yacht industry. She began working as a steward on a private yacht that sails throughout the Caribbean in the winter and the Mediterranean in the summer. In this obscure occupation, she shops for the owners, sets the tables, irons clothes, polishes brass and completes other odd jobs. However, she often has the opportunity to take the family’s 16 year-old son scuba diving. Scuba diving is only one perk compared with eating gourmet food prepared by the yacht’s chef and enjoying beautiful scenery. Much like her sister, Shelley continues to take classes on the side to build her qualifications. She understands that her current lifestyle can’t last forever, so she plans to pursue management positions in the yacht industry after her time on the yacht has expired.

While these three outstanding students all chose interesting paths after college, each made sure to achieve a degree before traveling.

“They know they wanted their degrees, and they’ve both used their degrees in their work,” said Mrs. Fluke, mother of Ali and Shelley. “I am incredibly proud of them. They are self sufficient, they are happy, and they graduated first.”


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