The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga School of Education held a dinner and reception on May 23 to congratulate the 2023-2024 Butterfield Fellows, a group of local educators selected for their exemplary classroom management practices supporting children and teacher education.
The event, honoring Hamilton County Schools and UTC educators, took place in the University Center Tennessee Room.
The Butterfield Fellows program was created in memory of Dr. William Butterfield, the late professor emeritus of the UTC Teacher Preparation Academy, who spent 31 years on the UTC faculty.
Butterfield taught secondary education curriculum and instruction, adolescent psychology and worked with student teachers. He had a long connection to local youth through counseling, teaching and mentoring and started the Upward Bound Program at UTC.
Upon his death in 2008, his wife, Martha—the first faculty member in the history of the UTC nursing program—established a fund supporting teachers in Hamilton County Schools who work with other teachers to implement classroom management techniques.
Martha Butterfield, a retired Mary B. Jackson associate professor who taught at UTC from 1974 to 1998, participated in the Butterfield Fellows celebration via Zoom.
“I know a lot of you didn’t have the opportunity to know Bill Butterfield personally, but I did, and he was known for being the kindest, most thoughtful, most gracious person who always found something good in everybody,” said Dr. Valerie Rutledge, dean of the UTC College of Health, Education and Professional Studies. “Thank you to Martha for being so supportive and for doing something that would allow us to continue to honor Bill and to keep him in the forefront.”
The members of the 2023-2024 Butterfield Fellows cohort are:
- Emily Brace – Hardy Elementary
- Rachel Burgess – Orchard Knob Middle School
- Jennifer Burnette – East Ridge Elementary
- Kyle Carrasco – STEM School
- Catherine Casselman – Eastside Elementary
- Chandler Davenport – The Howard School
- David Jackson – Brown Middle
- Annie Jernigan – Hixson High School
- Tamblynn Mauldin – Apison Elementary
- Krysta Murillo – UTC: School of Education
- Sarah Rivkin – Brown Academy
- Shannon Stidham – Woodmore Elementary
“We have identified 12 teacher leaders, 11 from Hamilton County Schools and one UTC scholar, to support positive classroom management and best practices for this next year,” said School of Education Assistant Professor Jason Gordon. “Most of us are educators, so we know the importance of having access to a model. ‘How can you build a house without a model? You got to see what a house looks like before you can build it, right? What does the classroom look like? What does a well-organized classroom look like? What does it look like when a teacher has positive relationships with his or her students?’
“Our mission here is to provide access for our teacher candidates and Hamilton County Schools novice teachers to have access to the best models that we know here in our community.”
Dr. Kim Wingate, interim co-director of the School of Education, said Gordon and Assistant Professor Jennifer Lynberg worked closely with Hamilton County Schools Induction Coordinator Erin Kirby and Dean of Students Cheryl McCray to identify Butterfield Fellows candidates.
“This program is a win for our faculty,” Wingate said. “They are recognized for their hard work and for the collaboration they’re doing to support teachers. And it’s a win for our students because they’re seeing all of these practices.
“They’re learning from their faculty and working with the Butterfield Fellows—these outstanding classroom management instructors.”
Wingate said UTC Assistant Professor Krysta Murillo was selected for the cohort because of the work she does teaching classroom management courses and for the previous training she has participated in with Hamilton County Schools.
“It’s a huge honor to be recognized by my colleagues and our leadership,” said Murillo, a UTC faculty member since 2016. “I do have a commitment to supporting teacher candidates who will eventually go on to the district to become these wonderful teachers positively supporting their students. It’s something that I bring to the classroom every day.
“I try to make sure that they understand that it’s more than just showing up every day and leading a classroom; it’s putting a lot of commitment and caring and nurturing into students to help them become better people in the future.”
Butterfield Fellows each were awarded a $1,000 stipend in recognition of exemplary classroom management practices while serving as a COMP model classroom leader for the 2023-2204 academic school year. COMP, short for Classroom Organization and Management Program, is a research-based and research-proven professional development program.
In addition, they received awards created in the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship’s Hatch It! Lab in the James R. Mapp Building.
“The exciting part was that we made all of the awards and the printing in-house, working with engineering students and students in different majors,” Lynberg said. “They helped us provide the teachers we are honoring today with exceptional personalized gifts.
“In teaching, it’s really important that you’re valued, and I think this is a way that shows that they are valued daily. When they look at those individualized awards, they know we respect and honor them.”
The fellows will spend the next year mentoring novice teachers, hosting UTC teacher candidates, observing their classrooms and supporting UTC teacher candidates.
“This is exciting because this is very focused on relationships with kids, and I feel like that is my strong suit as a teacher,” said Chandler Davenport, who teaches at The Howard School. “I have really good relationships with my students and, as a result, I have very few classroom management problems.
“I was excited when I got the email saying I was selected. I get to do something really special with UTC. It’s nice to have a year-long commitment and cultivate a relationship with UTC.”
Davenport has been on a roll lately. The Butterfield Fellows recognition followed her recent selection as The Howard School’s Teacher of the Year, “and I got engaged this year, too,” she said, flashing a big smile.
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Other UTC School of Education News
The following Hamilton County Schools teachers were selected as UTC Model Mentors for the 2022-2023 school year:
- Taylor Pelchat Jones (Pre-Kindergarten) – Battle Academy
- Holly Welch (Kindergarten) – Brown Academy
- Jennifer Murray (Kindergarten) – Dupont Elementary
- Allyson Dunbar (First Grade) – Bess T. Shepherd Elementary
- Keeley Auffarth (First Grade) – East Lake Elementary
- Kristi Sahm (Second Grade) – Bess T. Shepherd Elementary
- Kristi Thacker (Second Grade) – East Ridge Elementary
- Robin Kelley (Second Grade) – Nolan Elementary
- Kaylin Daughtery (Second Grade) – Rivermont Elementary
- Tabitha Christy (Third Grade) – Red Bank Elementary
- Jamie Demumbrum (Fourth Grade) – Red Bank Elementary
- April Gregorcich (Fourth Grade) – East Lake Elementary
- Christy Varnell (Chemistry) – Hixson High School
- Annie Jernigan (English) – Hixson High School
- Ashlee Hubbard-Heitz (History) – Hixson High School
- Joshua Light (Music) – Soddy Daisy High School
- Kendra Bell (Physical Education) – Signal Mountain High School
- Cindy Newman (Special Education) – Spring Creek Elementary
- Alex Ford (Theater) – East Hamilton High School
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Butterfield Fellows reception (photo gallery by Angela Foster)