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Where Are They Now?

posted Mar 19, 2014, 7:37 AM by Travis Redden   [ updated Mar 19, 2014, 12:58 PM ]
    Mark Brunk was a student like us here at Brownstown High School from 1971- 1975, but you may know him as Dr. Brunk today, a dentist that has his own practice in Vandalia, Brunk Family Dental Care. During his years at BHS, Mark remembered when he was put into an advanced placement classes with only one or a few other students. This was an honor that he took great pride in because he understood at a young age that he had to take advantage of every opportunity in order to be successful. He is proud of his education at BHS and of the great faculty he had while a student there.

  At BHS Mark participated in many extracurriculars. He was class president for two years, president of the French Club, a student council member, part of the yearbook staff, and he played baseball briefly during his four years. Because of his ambitious nature in high school, SIU-Edwardsville offered to pay his full tuition. This allowed him to be worry free about finances while chasing his dreams.

    Mark was very young when he started to show interest in the science and medical fields. At the age of eight he started dissecting frogs and fish by his parent’s pond. Mark Brunk's parents were both well educated and had master’s degrees as well as extra schooling after those degrees. Mark’s step father owned his own farm business and let Mark run his own operation while in high school. This taught him many life lessons and gave him, at the age of fifteen, a sense of accomplishment in business. Dr. Brunk's mother was an artist as well as a teacher.  Mark saw dentistry as an artistic field as well. His parents were very influential in his career choice and I believe he is very grateful for this.

    To all of the young students aspiring to begin their own business, Mr. Brunk believes that you should work for a company or individual early in your career in order to learn the state and federal rules of a business, something they don’t always teach in school. If you go into a business blind, then you won't have a successful practice. One last piece of advice from Dr. Brunk was inspiring and he said it best, so I’ll quote him here:

“ You make your life decisions at an early age and don't even know it.  Your study skills, your appearance, your health, your grammar, your treatment of others, how you feel, how you manage yourself all makes who and what you will become later in life.  Your personality is what you made it to be.  I tell people that they can't fake personality.  You show who and what you are on a daily basis.  I have nineteen employees and each one was hired because I liked "them".  Skills can be taught and trades learned.  Anyone can try to sell an object but the one with a positive attitude will normally finish that sale.  Surrounding yourself with good people rubs off on you.  My advice on a half glass of water is this:  Are you the half empty glass (complainer, whiner,I just can’t do it person) or are you the half full glass (positive outlook, going places, almost at my goals, more work and I will be there)?  Don't allow a low self-esteem of yourself at an early age.  Education is available to all and never stop learning.”

   Graduating seniors and all high school students have role models and great examples to follow here in our very own community.  We should start taking advantage of that. This is the third article in our ongoing series “Where Are They Now”. Check our district webpage latest news feed to catch stories of other BHS graduates and the great things they are doing today. 

By Chloe Lansford

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