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Jeanette M. Butala



In 1996, Jeanette M. Butala began as the Lower School Director of Providence St. Mel School and, in 1997, became the Assistant Principal. In July 2000, Ms. Butala assumed the position of principal.  In July 2014, Ms. Butala was appointed President of Providence St. Mel School. An education professional with more than two decades of administrative and teaching experience in Maryland, Ohio, Kentucky, as well as Illinois, Ms. Butala oversees the day-to-day operations of Providence St. Mel, provides guidance and leadership for teachers and administrators, and coordinates a preschool-12 curriculum that surpasses national standards.  In addition to serving as President at this school, Ms. Butala is the Chief Educational Officer of Jay Pritzker Academy in Siem Ream, Cambodia which is modeled after Providence St. Mel School.  In both capacities, she is responsible for the instructional framework including curriculum and instruction. From 2006 to June 2011, Ms. Butala served as the Chief Education Officer at Providence Englewood Charter School, and now acts as an educational consultant.  With the renowned education scholar, the late Michael Pressley, PhD, of Michigan State University, Ms. Butala co-authored Providence St. Mel School:  How a School That Works for African American Students Works, which appeared in the June 2004 Journal of Educational Psychology.  After completing this study, Dr. Pressley hailed the school as being “a model for urban education.”  Because of her experience, knowledge, and skill, the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Education invited her to teach as adjunct faculty member in its doctoral program in Urban Education Leadership in 2004-2006.  Consistently recognized for her contributions to effective education, Ms. Butala has garnered several awards and accolades over the years, including the Crystal Apple Award, given by the Michigan State University College of Education to recognize only the most outstanding educators in the country.  In 2008, the MMI Preparatory School in Freeland, Pennsylvania, honored Ms. Butala as a distinguished alumna, inducting her into its Wall of Fame.  In 2010, she received the Phi Delta Kappa Educator of the Year Award.  Principal Butala was featured on CNN to discuss the topic “The Failing Education System-Education Reform”.  Most recently, Ms. Butala was awarded with the Ora Higgins Youth Foundation’s Distinguished Leadership Award, which was presented at a ceremony in October of 2011.  In 2014, Ms. Butala was honored at Providence St. Mel’s annual Celebration! fundraising dinner held in her honor.  An innovative educator, consummate administrator, and inspirational leader, Ms. Butala is dedicated to ensuring that students and teachers continue to achieve academic excellence at the highest level.