Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

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November 12, 2012

Superintendent earns IHSPA award

INDIANAPOLIS —  

Wayne Township student journalists are in good hands under the leadership of Dr. Jeff Butts, superintendent of schools. Butts was recently honored as the Administrator of the Year by the Indiana High School Press Association.

Butts was nominated for the award by Tom Hayes, the Ben Davis High School newspaper advisor, and Jon Easter, who oversees the campus radio station.

“For his entire time here at Ben Davis, Dr. Butts has been extremely supportive of the newspaper and yearbook,” Hayes said. “Even when he was the assistant superintendent I felt he was very supportive.”

Hayes said any time his student writers need access to the administration, there is no problem getting an interview.

“He will always do an interview and to make sure to talk to the class as a whole,” he said. “He enjoys meeting students and talking to them and he’s very open and honest.”

Easter said Butts places the students in a leadership role. One example is a new broadcast segment students are currently working on.

“He came to the students and said he would like to do a monthly show from the superintendent’s office,” Easter said. “He asked the students to come up with a plan. He has trusted our students to plan his show.”

Butts said he was surprised when he found out about the award.

“I was shocked and very humbled,” he said. “I accepted the award, but did so with the understanding that it’s the kids and staff that deserve it.”

He said his philosophy on student journalism is to give the instruction they need and allow them to make their own decisions.

“We do have a good history in journalism in Wayne,” Butts said. “It goes back to 1962 when we created the radio station. We’ve had media outlets for our children to be involved with for many years. It’s all about teaching them what it means to be responsible journalists.”

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