Charter Chief retires after 33 years

Butterworth+teaches+one+of+her+students+about+the+Salem+Witch+trials+during+her+seventh+year+of+teaching+at+Sequoyah.+Butterworth+taught+at+Cherokee+for+seven+years+before+coming+to+Sequoyah+in+1991+and+becoming+a+Charter+Chief.
Back to Article
Back to Article

Charter Chief retires after 33 years

Butterworth teaches one of her students about the Salem Witch trials during her seventh year of teaching at Sequoyah. Butterworth taught at Cherokee for seven years before coming to Sequoyah in 1991 and becoming a Charter Chief.

Butterworth teaches one of her students about the Salem Witch trials during her seventh year of teaching at Sequoyah. Butterworth taught at Cherokee for seven years before coming to Sequoyah in 1991 and becoming a Charter Chief.

Butterworth teaches one of her students about the Salem Witch trials during her seventh year of teaching at Sequoyah. Butterworth taught at Cherokee for seven years before coming to Sequoyah in 1991 and becoming a Charter Chief.

Butterworth teaches one of her students about the Salem Witch trials during her seventh year of teaching at Sequoyah. Butterworth taught at Cherokee for seven years before coming to Sequoyah in 1991 and becoming a Charter Chief.

Rachel Renner, Reporter

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






From Cherokee’s red and black, to Sequoyah’s black and gold, Charter Chief, Diane Butterworth, has decided that following this school year she will be retiring.

Butterworth started teaching at Cherokee High School in 1984 as an English teacher before coming to Sequoyah in 1991. The term Charter Chief refers to the first teachers employed at Sequoyah. Butterworth is one of four Charter Chiefs left at Sequoyah, along with Richard Bragg, Mark Farist, and Gerald Parker.

From the beginning of Butterworth’s teaching career at Sequoyah, she was impressed with the focus of the students getting a quality education, even though many things have changed throughout the years.

“Sequoyah has definitely changed as far of the makeup of the students, but we have always been lucky here. We have great students and great parents who are very interested in getting an education,” Butterworth said. “We are so lucky, just not that many schools have the focus that we have.”

As a teacher, Butterworth valued the time she was able to spend with her students and the education she could provide them with.

“I loved talking to the kids every day, and I was that teacher that is very passionate about the literature,” Butterworth said. “I think I really got into it, and I think the kids really kind of got into it to.”

Although Butterworth enjoyed teaching her students and spending time with them, she also had to keep a strict demeanor.

“I mean business,” Butterworth said. “I felt like I was having to stamp out ignorance.”

Sequoyah English teacher, Kristy Lingerfelt, one of Butterworth’s former 11th grade grammar and composition students, describes Butterworth as a very knowledgeable, personable, funny, and patient teacher.

Butterworth teaches one of her students about the Salem Witch trials during her seventh year of teaching at Sequoyah. Butterworth taught at Cherokee for seven years before coming to Sequoyah in 1991 and becoming a Charter Chief.

“She would let us redo papers until we got it and got a good grade,” Lingerfelt said. “I remember a research paper in her class and she kept giving it back to me with corrections, and she wouldn’t let me finish until it was good.”

When Butterworth became an administrator in the 2003-2004 school year, she felt this event was uncommon, yet an occasion she felt blessed to receive. Typically when a teacher becomes an administrator they do not get promoted within the same school. Butterworth and the principal at the time, Doe Kirkland, were close at the time and Butterworth had shown interest in administration for a while.

“It was probably that summer before the appointment was made, but I did get the opportunity, which is very unusual in this county,” Butterworth said. “The fact that I have been here as long as I’ve been here is very unusual, but I’ve been a very blessed person to get that opportunity. This opportunity was nice because I already knew everything about the school which helped.”

Although Butterworth loves being an administrator, her least favorite part of the job is having to deal with students when they are in trouble. Butterworth’s first disciplinary action was shocking to her because she had only ever seen things from a teacher standpoint. Even though she took things as they came and in an orderly method, she was most shocked by the emotion involved.

“Kids are telling you one thing and you don’t know 100%, which was kind of unusual that you have to make a decision and you have to deal with it anyways,” Butterworth said. “I guess that was it, that I was a little bit stunned that you still have to do something whether or not you are 100% sure on what it is.”

Teresa Helf has been Butterworth’s secretary since 2003, and since then has appreciated her unique personality and talents as an individual and administrator.

“Ms. Butterworth has a firm, fair, forgiving, and funny personality, and she has the rare talent and gift of foresight, which comes along with the gift of wisdom,” Helf said. “Some people may think she is hard, she has the gift of knowing that if she gets something done that day it won’t get her next week. I’ll miss that about her because I’ve never met someone that has had that ability to keep a tight rein on stuff.”

With Butterworth coming close to the end of her career in the school system, she still hopes to do something in education on her own terms.

“I don’t really know [how I will spend retirement], I am thinking things through,” Butterworth said. “One thing is that I am going to have a grandchild in March, so I am excited that I am going to have time to play with him, it’s going to be a boy.”

Although Butterworth has loved working in the school system, after 33 years in education, she has decided to retire her title of administrator for the title of grandmother.

 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email