MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Local News

January 21, 2013

Fenton works hard to help others

Students, disaster victims all benefit from her desire

— Tracy Fenton’s desire to help others has led her in many directions — and she hasn’t stopped.

She’s gone from teaching special education to counseling middle-schoolers at Hilldale Middle School.

She also has shared her desire to help victims of disasters, such as the Interstate 40 bridge collapse near Webbers Falls in 2002 and those who fled Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Fenton, 49, knows what first led her in such a direction.

“I grew up in a very loving and supportive family,” she said. “My parents encouraged me to be a caring and supportive child. I have grown from that foundation.”

Fenton said her mother, Marilyn Bronaugh, who died last year, was a caring and supportive person. She said her father, Lewis Hudson, was very patient.

“They taught me to be respectful and grateful for things,” she said.

She took social work and education classes at Northeastern State University. When she was a student teacher at Muskogee High School, she visited a special education classroom.

“I helped out there and knew that was what I should be doing,” Fenton said. “There were a lot of kids with a lot of special needs, and I just enjoyed helping those students.”

She spent 14 years at Hilldale teaching children with learning disabilities.

In 1999, the middle school principal asked Fenton if she could be a school counselor. At first, Fenton refused, choosing to stay in the classroom.

Then came the shootings at Columbine High School.

“That was a defining moment, a benchmark for me,” she said. “I felt very strongly about character education and bullying prevention.”

She accepted the counselor position.

Meet Tracy Fenton

AGE: 49.

HOMETOWN: Muskogee.

CAREER: Counselor, Hilldale Middle School.

EDUCATION: Grant Foreman Elementary School, Alice Robertson Junior High; Muskogee High School, 1981; Connors State College, 1983; Northeastern State University, 1985.

FAMILY: Husband, Mark Fenton.

CHURCH: Boulevard Christian Church.

HOBBIES: Fishing, exercise, traveling and spending time with family and friends.

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