Meet Butterfield Elementary School
Rocco Sugameli, Principal
Gayle Schmidt, Administrative Assistant
Leadership is a responsibility shared by our principal, staff, parents and
students. Our school Strategic Plan committee is the driving force behind this effective
site-based management team. Parents, staff, and students serve on strategic plan
subcommittees that support each facet of our school's vision and mission. Together they
make decisions that reflect our values and academic standards and help us continually
strive for new levels of excellence.
Butterfield's traditions have resulted in our excellent reputation in the
State of Arizona and Nationally as identified by our Arizona A+ Schools and
National Blue Ribbon Schools status:
Every Friday, students, staff and parents come together in the courtyard
to share our successes and to affirm our sense of community. Even the
youngest students participate in the singing, the character-building activities, and
applause for student efforts and achievements.
An atmosphere of community spirit is further fostered by our system of "buddy
classes." Older classes are matched with younger ones and meet weekly
for activities ranging from gardening to practicing basic skills. To quote a
student, "It's fun to have a little buddy who looks up to you."
Our school-wide goal setting program is a model for
Tucson schools. It is a formal program used in every classroom on our campus. Students are
learning life-long skills of setting realistic goals, devising strategies, and evaluating
their progress. They also learn that sometimes in real life goals are not reached the
first time. We hold award ceremonies every quarter to honor those who have met their
goals. Bumper stickers everywhere in our neighborhood state, "I Reached My
Goal at Butterfield." A former Butterfield Bobcat summed up the value of our
program: "Everything I do involves goal setting, even basketball and baseball. In
high school you have to prepare. I take the highest level classes I can get."
Butterfield students are motivated to be safe and respectful.
Every quarter staff and students design activities such as picnics and games to reward our
students for being good citizens.
Traditional techniques combined with creative new
strategies help us maintain high expectations and achievement to meet our changing needs:
Behavior problems are at an all-time low on our campus. Our
Safe Environment subcommittee has developed a program in which students take
responsibility for their actions and develop effective problem-solving skills. A
school-wide technique dealing with inappropriate behavior, Behavior Notice/My Plan, helps
students analyze their actions and devise an alternate plan. As a result, our discipline
referral rate has dropped 61% in the last three years.
Our staff is dedicated to the philosophy that active learners
are successful learners. Our students are authors, composers, public speakers,
map makers, and performers. They challenge traditional methods by initiating their own
learning. While kindergartners use inventive spelling and drawing to write about the
Gingerbread Man, older children are writing and illustrating books in Spanish and
compiling collections of poetry.
A variety of activities foster a feeling of community spirit,
stability, and academic excellence among our students, staff and parents.
Over 100 parents volunteer on our campus every week,
including grandparents and other intergenerational tutors. We honor grandparents every
year at a Grand Person's Day. Children proudly escort their special guests around the
campus, and parent volunteers honor them with a breakfast or luncheon.
Our parent group, Butterfield Community Activities Council
(BCAC), is a stabilizing force in our community. They support the staff by
volunteering in the classrooms and library, helping with our reading incentive program,
and organizing many fun family activities. In the last five years, they have raised over
$100,000 to provide special programs and equipment.
An extremely low turnover in school staff reflects teachers' commitment
to our school and community. Butterfield's tradition of high academic standards
and achievements are a result of our dedicated staff continually working to meet
Butterfield Elementary School, located in the fast-growing area of
northwest Tucson, celebrated its 20th birthday in 1998. We have six grade level pods, a
multi-purpose room, library and media center, administrative office, and five
double-classroom modular buildings. Our well-maintained grounds feature many trees planted
by the children. The community continually utilizes the grounds for a variety of sports
and after-school activities. It serves as a neighborhood gathering place at least 12 hours
Our school currently serves over 650 students and their families, grades
kindergarten through six. Our population is enriched by Spanish-, Cantonese-, Vietnamese-,
Korean-, Gujarati-, and Arabic-speaking students.
At Butterfield: "Everyone Wins Because Everyone