Sarah M. “Sally” Butzin: Devoted to education and advocacy
By Dorothy Inman-Johnson
Special to the Outlook
Sally Butzin has been selected the Capital Outlook Newspaper’s Person of the Week for her devotion to quality education and advocacy for children throughout her professional life. She was born in Warren Ohio, and grew up in Greenville, Pennsylvania. She was pregnant with their first child, Charlotte, in 1973 when they moved to Tallahassee so her husband Peter could accept the FSU Campus Minister position. She had already received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from DePauw University. After moving to Tallahassee, she earned her Master of Science degree in Reading and Elementary Education and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Elementary Education from Florida State University. In 1980, she began her local career in education as a teacher at the FSU Developmental Research School (Florida High). Her husband, Peter, is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ; served as the state executive director of Common Cause, on the National Governing Board, and currently volunteers with the Florida Common Cause chapter.
Butzin has been an educator and child advocate for over 40 years. She developed Project CHILD (Changing How Instruction for Learning is Delivered), an instructional system for grades K-5, and was co-developer of Project TEAMS (Technology Enhancing Achievement in Middle School). Project CHILD has been implemented in classrooms throughout the U.S. and Canada, serving over 200,000 students with this interactive, technology- integrated approach to learning, long before computers were common tools in classrooms. Butzin has been published widely in educational and technology journals, and served on the editorial boards of the Journal of International Media and the Journal of School Choice. Her book, Joyful Classrooms in an Age of Accountability, was published by Phi Delta Kappa in 2005. She and her daughter, Charlotte Butzin Beal, collaborated on Best Buddies Birthdays, a book published in 2016 by Archway Publishing. Sally’s latest book, Creating Joyful Classrooms: A Positive Response to testing and accountability in the Elementary Classroom, is scheduled for publication and release by Rowman & Littlefield Publishers in January 2018. In 2008, Butzin was named “Distinguished Educator” by the Florida State University College of Education.
She is a past president of the Florida Center for Children and Youth Board of Directors, and served on the Business Advisory Council of the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice. She, also, was appointed to the National Governing Board of the U.S. Department of Education’s National Diffusion Network. Her civic and community service includes past chair of the Board of Trustees for the International Alliance for Invitational Education, Tallahassee Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, Tallahassee/ Leon County Canopy Roads Citizen Advisory Committee, and a term as a commissioner on the Tallahassee/ Leon County Status of Women and Girls Commission. Now retired, she and Peter enjoy golf, theater, music, and travel worldwide, while continuing their commitment to volunteer service. They remain active members of the United Church in Tallahassee, and enjoy spending time with their daughters’ (Jessica and Charlotte) families, and special time with their four grandchildren. Well deserved after decades of advocacy for all of our children.
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