Counselor Melissa Butler retires at DiscoveryPublished 8:16pm Friday, May 24, 2013
MADISON – Retiring as counselor from Discovery Middle School, Melissa Butler will miss day-to-day interaction with students.
“Some students come by to hug me every single day. I’ll miss hearing ‘updates’ from students and what’s going on in their lives,” Butler said. “Finally, I will miss working in the field of education. It truly is a rewarding and enjoyable profession to which one is called.”
A counselor must “be flexible, (energetic) and remember students are your priority even during testing, registration and other ‘crunch’ times. You need a thick skin and a well-developed sense of humor,” she said.
She first taught at Jasper County Comprehensive High School in Monticello, Ga. and then was substitute teacher for Huntsville City Schools. She worked at Sparkman middle and high schools and Madison Cross Roads elementary and middle schools and 13 years at Discovery.
Miss Myra Nell Head, fifth-grade teacher at Fairview School in Cullman, impressed Butler. “She was the smartest, most organized person I’d ever met. She never married and talked about going to Braves games — a big deal at the time for women. She traveled throughout the United States and retired after 40-plus years.”
In 2000, Butler was selected as Alabama Middle School Counselor of the Year by the Alabama School Counselor Association. This year, six Discovery students wrote essays about Butler as school counselor. Two essays placed second and third in the state.
Butler earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Auburn University and math education certification at Athens State University. She received a master’s degree in counseling at Alabama A&M University and education specialist status at the University of Alabama.
Her husband Scott works at Ryder Transportation and recently retired as lieutenant colonel with the Tennessee National Guard. Her daughter, Catherine Feehan, 22, is an Auburn senior studying physical activity and health.
Butler now will tackle home remodeling and landscaping projects and “re-connect with people that I haven’t visited nearly enough during the past few years. I may even sub at Discovery.”