Shelly Butcher got a taste of working in the Windsor-Severance Re-4 School District as an administrative teacher on special assignment at Grandview Elementary School in the 2012-13 school year.
After it was announced Friday that Butcher was hired as the new principal at Tozer Primary School in Windsor, she’ll be first in line for seconds. Butcher will replace Shelly Prenger, who is transferring to Range View Elementary School in Severance to be its principal.
Butcher, 39, already knew what the school district was like as a parent because her son, Joe, 9, is a student at Range View. She can’t wait to begin working at Tozer.
“I absolutely love the Windsor school district. The whole district feels like a family everywhere you go,” said Butcher, who left the Re-4 School District after one year because of the boundary shifts and enrollment changes at Grandview. “My son goes to Range View, and as I started getting to know the school district through him and what an amazing community feel that Windsor offered, as soon as Tozer popped up I just knew that’s the school for me. It has had principals in there that have really put it on a trajectory of greatness, and I want to be a part of it. It’s a great school. It’s one that has a great partnership with Mountain View, and I am excited to work with (Mountain View principal) Michelle (Bigler).”
Re-4 Superintendent Karen Trusler said there were 31 applicants and four of them ended up being interviewed Thursday by a group of Tozer staff, parents, administrators and Trusler.
Trusler said Butcher’s background and expertise, her ability to show how she is passionate about children, education and working closely with the Tozer and Mountain View community made her stand out.
“She is vibrant and energetic. She’s a people person,” Trusler said. “Every single group who interviewed her all remarked about the strength of her ability to relate to each individual.”
Butcher grew up in Fort Collins, graduated from Fort Collins High School in 1993 and started working for the Poudre School District in 1998, first as an instructional aide for two years, a kindergarten through third-grade teacher for nine years, a literacy teacher and instructional coach and assistant principal the rest of the time. Her last day at PSD was Friday as the assistant principal at Rice Elementary School in Wellington.
Butcher, who lives in Eaton, understands the importance of Tozer feeding its students into the Mountain View system.
“It’s like one school on two campuses,” Butcher said. “It really is one school and one community. We really have to be treating it as one school so that the kids have that continuity, families have that continuity between schools. It gives teachers a great opportunity to work closely together. Michelle and I will be a great team to keep forging that path.”
Butcher describes herself as a very friendly and open person.
“I love getting on the kids’ levels and seeing what they’re doing. It excites me and kind of makes me tick,” Butcher said.
Grandview Principal Dave Grubbs had the chance to watch Butcher work for a year, and he said she will be great at Tozer.
“She was a dynamic leader when she was with us, and I know she’s enthusiastic and eager to take the next step forward as a leader,” Grubbs said. “I’m excited that she’s coming back, and I’ll get to work with her in a different role.”
Butcher said she’s all about building relationships.
“I feel like we’re in a people business and our priority is to really understand and get to know the people we work with from the students to the parents and the staff and the community,” Butcher said. “I really feel like people will see me as a friendly, caring, knowledgeable person who listens and cares for the children and has a vision and goal and will lead Tozer in a great direction.”