Students and Faculty Praise Butler High School Growth, Saddened Over Future Closing

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - Parents are running out of time to learn about Huntsville City Schools' rezoning proposal.

Tuesday night, the district hosted the second-to-last open house forum at Butler High School.

Over the course of the discussions, the announced closure of Butler High School has been one of the major points of contention in the community.

But at the open house Tuesday, teachers and students did not express outrage, rather, sadness over the impending loss of the community they have built.

"I'm telling people I would enroll my own students in Butler now because of the energetic, compassionate, creative teachers and faculty," said Patty Lowe, Executive Director of the Cornerstone Initiative.

It might not be the declaration you would expect to hear about a classified 'failing' school, but Lowe sees a side of Butler High that doesn't show up in any state report.

"This is a school with the greatest potential," said Lowe. "If the community knew all the good and positive things happening here they would be anxious to engage."

If you ask what those 'good and positive' things are, Lowe, students, and teachers will point you to the Butler Theater Project.

"As you know, Butler doesn't have much to brag about," said David Moore.

The Senior moved to Butler after the 9th grade.  His love for the school is evident.

"Butler has the most loving and caring staff, all the teachers care about you and make you feel important. We might have a bad reputation but we care for each other," enthused Moore.

Moore says Butler is changing for the better. A turnaround he fears came as too little, too late.

"Beside the theater program, we're doing this thing called SOLE, and it's an innovative way of learning," said Moore. "If these changes had happened a couple of years ago,
I don't think [Butler] would close. I think they would have kept it open."

While the school's fate may be sealed, educators hope these changes and the growth seen at the school will be carried with each student, no matter where they go.

"They have proven to us time and time again if you set high expectations and give them the opportunity to shine, they will do it," said Megan Carroll, a 10th grade English teacher and a founder of the Butler Theater Project. "Wherever they end up, we want them to take that with them."

The last opportunity to discuss the proposed changes with district leaders is Wednesday, February 5th. The Open House will be held at Columbia High School at 5 p.m.

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