Buttler leaving Olsen for Flour Bluff ISD
Superintendent Dr. Sharon Doughty reported the resignation Wednesday morning, June 23.
Buttler will be principal of Flour Bluff Primary School, which has 750 first and second graders and 73 staff members. Coincidentally, it is where Buttler did her student teaching in 1998.
The Port Aransas native who graduated from eighth grade at H.G. Olsen Elementary School in 1966, then the only school in Port Aransas, has been principal of her alma mater since June 2004.
“It’s been the ride of a lifetime. Not many people get to come back to their hometown and be principal,” Buttler said.
She said she was contacted by the Flour Bluff ISD, where she has maintained contacts, and asked if she was interested in the position.
“I don’t look at it as a step up, I look at it as a step out – how do you step up from Port Aransas?” Buttler said
“It’s been phenomenal: Working with the teachers and parents, and the community support,” she said.
Prior to becoming principal here, Buttler had been a third grade teacher for six years and grade level leader for two years at Flour Bluff Elementary School.
Buttler had some real work to do when she took over at Olsen Elementary, as students overall had sub-par scores on the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills test. As a result, the Texas Education Agency ranked the school as unacceptable in the 2003-2004 school year, before Buttler arrived. From the bottom up, the TEA ranks schools as unacceptable, acceptable, recognized or exemplary.
By the end of Buttler’s first year at the helm, the school was rated recognized, and at the end of the 2005-06 school year, the school had been rated exemplary, which it is again being rated for the 2009-10 school year. In 2007 and 2008, the school was rated recognized.
Doughty said, “I wish she’d stay. I even asked her if she’d reconsider.”
“I can speak, probably, on behalf of the board: She’s done a fabulous job. To replace her will be extremely difficult,” Doughty said.
Doughty was quick to add, “I assure everyone that we will find the very best for Olsen Elementary.”
The position was posted on the district’s Web site and on a Web site for school administrators, Doughty said.
“I just got a fabulous resumé from a sitting principal at a Texas school district. They’re out there and they’re looking,” she said.
“When there are changes in superintendents, often principals want to leave, too,” Doughty said.
Olsen Elementary, with 240 students, has been rated exemplary for the past two years, so Doughty thinks qualified applicants will be attracted to the position.
Plans are to establish a search committee that will be composed of Port Aransas High School Principal Sharon McKinney, Brundrett Middle School Principal Gina McKeever as well as teachers on staff at the elementary school. The application period will close July 16, Doughty said, “but that doesn’t mean I won’t start interviewing before then,” she said.
In an e-mail she sent to the elementary school staff on Wednesday morning, Buttler wrote: “I am excited with bittersweet emotions. I have been blessed to work with the most wonderful staff in the world for the past six years at Olsen Elementary. I will cherish these memories and experiences and have learned sooooo much from this staff. Please pray for me (there ya go, I’m always asking for something) as I take this huge step.”
Doughty said Buttler will wrap up some loose ends before turning in her keys here and opening the door on her new career at Flour Bluff.