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Stories of Impact

Stories connect us all. They have the power to build empathy, transform mindsets, shape best practices, and inspire action.


Innovation: Blended learning stories

Launch Point: A rocket teacher’s impact on the future

Underneath renderings of actual rockets and the word INNOVATE, Chris McLeod shapes the future of Texas from inside the rocketry lab of the Brazoswood Career & Technical Education Center. 

Rocket teacher Chris McLeod works with a student in the rocketry lab at Brazoswood High School

Innovation: RAISING BLENDED LEARNERSSTORIES OF IMPACT

Finding a path to success that’s real for kids

In this story, we showcase the vulnerability of Venus ISD leaders in taking ownership of significant gaps in secondary reading instruction and the thoughtful strategies they put in place to help students find real and lasting success.

An English Language Arts Teacher checks in with her students to answer questions about the assignment as student break into groups to conduct their research.

TEACHING: voices from the field

My authentic self: Superintendent is a reflection of the students he serves

An early-career, bilingual teacher demonstrates the power of leading as your authentic self.

Dr. Jaime Aquino, San Antonio ISD Superintendent, standing with a group of children all smiling and celebrating

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Monica Washington smiles as he addresses the camera in a formal interview setting

Windows and mirrors: Monica Washington shares about being a reflection of her students while helping them open doors

As an advocate for the profession, Washington utilizes her platform to share her experiences as a Black educator as well as to speak about her passion for teaching – a career outsiders tend to label as a career without upward mobility and opportunities for growth.

Dec 20, 2023 8 minutes
Dr. Victor Rios sits in front of a large window and smiles during a formal interview

“I care for you, but I can’t carry you.” A teacher’s persistence pays off

Dr. Victor Rios shares about the teacher who believed in him so much, she tricked him into believing in himself.

Nov 28, 2023 4 minutes
A blue rectange image with the Charles Butt Foundation logo and text underneath reading "The experiences and contributions of first-generation college graduates are woven into the fabric of the Charles Butt Foundation.

National First-Generation College Student Celebration Day

National First-Generation College Student Day represents an opportunity to raise awareness about the experience of first-generation college students and ways to ensure their college-going experiences are equitable to those of their continuing-generation peers.

Nov 08, 2023 3 minutes
Dr. Adam Sáenz smiles as he addresses the camera in a formal interview setting

His teachers were a light in the darkness…

Dr. Adam Sáenz shares about what his favorite teachers wrote him in letters that served as a light during a dark time in his young adult life, which serves as a reminder for all of us – you never know how much your kind words will impact someone, so share them often. 

Oct 13, 2023 6 minutes
Rocket teacher Chris McLeod works with a student in the rocketry lab at Brazoswood High School

Launch Point: A rocket teacher’s impact on the future

Underneath renderings of actual rockets and the word INNOVATE, Chris McLeod shapes the future of Texas from inside the rocketry lab of the Brazosport ISD Career & Technical Education Center. 

Oct 03, 2023 5 minutes
An English Language Arts Teacher checks in with her students to answer questions about the assignment as student break into groups to conduct their research.

Finding a path to success that’s real for kids

In this story, we showcase the vulnerability of Venus ISD leaders in taking ownership of significant gaps in secondary reading instruction and the thoughtful strategies they put in place to help students find real and lasting success.

Sep 26, 2023 13 minutes
Vicki Phillips smiles as she addresses the camera in a formal interview setting

The teacher who gave me a sense of belonging…

Vicki Phillips’ heartfelt story about her high school geometry teacher serves as a reminder of the lasting power of teachers who go above and beyond to connect with their students.

Sep 11, 2023 3 minutes
Dr. Jaime Aquino, San Antonio ISD Superintendent, standing with a group of children all smiling and celebrating

My authentic self: Superintendent is a reflection of the students he serves

In a short timeframe, his example of authentic and representational leadership has made lasting impacts on the school district and the city of San Antonio.

Aug 11, 2023 6 minutes
A kindergarten teacher works one-on-one with a student.

Advancing foundational literacy skills

How blended learning strategies have advanced foundational literacy skills in early childhood education classrooms in Tomball ISD.

Jun 22, 2023 11 minutes
Uriel Iglesias, a 4th-grade bilingual teacher, sits in a chair as his student run up behind him for a group hug. All of them are smiling.

Connection. Culture. Community.

An early-career, bilingual teacher demonstrates the power of leading as your authentic self.

May 25, 2023 9 minutes
During table time, a fourth-grade math teacher asks her students to review their data binder and determine a plan for their small group time based on their mastery.

A systems-based approach to growing all students

“It’s Spotlight Friday! Let me hear you.” The students of Brittany Magin’s 4th grade math class erupt into applause and shouts of encouragement to each other.

Jan 20, 2023 11 minutes
Joe Sanfelippo, the 2019 National Superintendent of the Year, addresses the camera in a formal interview setting

The one who made all the difference …

One simple act of encouragement from his teacher inspired Dr. Joe Sanfelippo to pursue a career in education and to eventually become the Superintendent of the Fall Creek School District in Fall Creek, Wisconsin and author of Hacking Leadership.

Dec 19, 2022 1 minute
A custom animated graphic celebrating First Generation College Student Day, including images of four Scholars

National First-Generation College Student Celebration Day

November 8th is National-First Generation College Student Day. The Charles Butt Scholarship celebrates the scholarship recipients who identify as first-generation college students today, and every day! 

Nov 08, 2022 4 minutes
Sabina Landeros, School Administrator for Cleburne ISD

Reaching students and families through a shared culture

Learn how Sabina Landeros used her background and experiences to empower Hispanic students and families on her former campus.

Oct 11, 2022 1 minute
Gilberto Lara, University professor at UT RGV

Seeing potential in all students

Dr. Lara explains the importance of teachers seeing potential in all their students. He is still grateful for what his teachers did for him.

Oct 11, 2022 1 minute
Featured story of Star Brown. She is looking to her right and smiling with blurred image of children in the background.

Rewrite the stars

Rewrite the Stars. A Charles Butt Scholar, Star Brow, redefines her legacy through teaching. Read her story.

Sep 12, 2022 5 minutes
A teacher meets one-on-one with a student to review her learning data.

How a district transformed its approach to early literacy

In this story, we highlight the learning journey of Harlingen CISD. They began their blended learning exploration with the goal of supporting Tier 2 & 3 students, those students who need more structured support to reach grade-level proficiency. However, this pursuit evolved into a new district-wide approach to teaching and learning that advances their investment in thoughtful innovation for the benefit of all schoolchildren.

Jul 21, 2022 8 minutes
Portraits of Charles Butt Scholars appears against a backdrop with the word Q&A on it

Showing Us What Brave Looks Like

In a brand new job under unthinkable circumstances. New surprises every week. Trying to support students in ways they never expected. And yet they say they “would not want to be in any other profession.” Ten Charles Butt Scholar alumni, now first and second-year teachers, share their struggles, victories, and learnings a few months into the 2020-21 school year. These new Texas teachers find inspiration in their profession, and in the process, inspire us. Clarissa Rodriguez 1st Grade Teacher | Treasure Hills.

Nov 10, 2021 3 minutes
Featured header graphic for the story titled, The show must go on.

The Show Must Go On: Persisting in a Pandemic

Three theatre teachers demonstrate an indomitable and innovative spirit in their approach to engaging and empowering students in COVID times.

Sep 03, 2021 12 minutes
A principal gives a warm side-hug to one of her students in the school hallway.

Leading schools with trauma sensitivity crucial to supporting students

Kim Darden, the principal at Pearland ISDs Alternative Choice for Education (PACE) Center and an alumna of the Raising School Leaders program stays grounded in her mission of supporting all students with individualized care and in advancing practices proven to make a positive difference on student outcomes.

Aug 26, 2021 4 minutes
Portraits of Charles Butt Scholars appears against a backdrop with the word Q&A on it

Amidst Great Challenges They Continue to Change the World

I have hope in America’s future. This year has been tumultuous for many students and families, yet they are resilient. Educators and communities have worked together to provide meals, WiFi, technology devices, and the best education possible for all students, no matter if they are learning at home or six feet apart in person. The amount that the school community and community partners have come together to support the students that attend our school has been awe-inspiring. Education continues to.

Jul 19, 2021 4 minutes
A principal and a young lady who is a former student and now an aspiring teacher stand outside the front of Martin Elementary School.

Developing the next generation of teachers and leaders

An aspiring teacher in her first year of college unexpectedly finds a mentor when she reconnects with her own elementary school principal.

May 20, 2021 11 minutes

Scenes of resilience from Texas school reopenings

Educators show us what agile, responsive public schools look like.

Oct 02, 2020 10 minutes
PACE graduates of two women standing side by side with their arms around each other. One is in cap and gown while the other is wearing a black long sleeve shirt.

Restorative practices pave path to success for graduates

An alternative school of choice in Pearland ISD leads with restorative practices and a focus on mental health.

Apr 03, 2020 10 minutes

Lessons from a Leader’s Journey

A turnaround principal returns to one of the poorest neighborhoods in Houston to lift up the community that raised her.

Feb 07, 2020 8 minutes

They Share the Same School and the American Dream

After 70 years, Dan Rather Returns to His Alma Mater, Heights High School in Houston, Texas.

Dec 18, 2019 8 minutes
Anna Fedewa feature

Leading by inclusion

Early on this scholar knew that inclusion — in education, postsecondary opportunities, careers, and our community — would be her life’s passion. 

Nov 26, 2019 8 minutes

Role models and representation in the classroom

How the lack of black male teachers fuels one scholar’s passion.

Oct 07, 2019 7 minutes
A portrait of Pharen an 8th grade student at KIPP Liberation College Preparatory Middle School

From Bored Student to School Leader

A Charles Butt Scholar redefines her legacy through teaching. “I hope my kids see the work I put in and understand it’s never too late.” How one student found her voice and her purpose

Jul 18, 2019 9 minutes
Raquel Perez and her parents pose for a graduation photo.

“For my parents, they came with nothing and gave me everything”

Raquel is a migrant farm worker who spent nearly every summer of her life working in the fields of Michigan alongside her family.

May 23, 2019 7 minutes

Teaching from the Heart

A family’s love fosters a future teacher’s gift.

May 08, 2019 10 minutes

Rural roots: The making of a teaching legacy

How education, family, and football forged a future in teaching for a small town standout.

Mar 21, 2019 10 minutes

I am Paredes Pride

At Paredes Middle School every student is encouraged to see their own greatness and given a platform to be a leader.

Feb 28, 2019 7 minutes
The Pérez family sits on the steps outside of their mobile home in Benton Harbor Michigan

From migrant farmer to future teacher

How a migrant farmworker defied the odds through personal determination and family sacrifice

Dec 21, 2018 7 minutes
A father and son pause for a photo at Arlington ISD's back-to-school bash.

Back to school with one voice and one purpose

Each year, a school district’s strategic plan is energized by a massive, dynamic demonstration of community collaboration

Aug 28, 2018 9 minutes
A principal checks in with one of her students at the Ysleta Young Women's Leadership Academy

Empowering young women to lead

Malinda Villalobos is the principal of the Ysleta Young Women’s Leadership Academy in Ysleta ISD – the first all-girls public school in El Paso.

Aug 22, 2018 1 minute

High School at a Higher Degree

An Early College High School in El Paso, Texas is changing what students and their families believe is possible.

Jun 19, 2018 6 minutes

Deep in the heart of the valley

How the educational family formed by Lyford CISD and its community has benefited students for generations

Apr 02, 2018 10 minutes
Landscape of humble homes and hills of Presidio, Texas.

Poverty does not define destiny

For 10 years, Principal Edgar Tibayan has been an educator in one of Texas’ poorest and most isolated school districts. But his chief message to his students is that poverty does not define a person’s destiny.

Jun 01, 2017 12 minutes
Principal Letty Roman visits with a student in the classroom

Grit and Grace

Secret ingredients for school transformation

Mar 17, 2016 17 minutes
Principal Natalia Goméz Ramback listens to a student read "All the Places You'll Go"

History & Culture as Guide

Principal Leads School from Sense of History and Culture

Nov 03, 2015 8 minutes