The Perham Education Association President Ryan Hendrickson recently announced that Perham High School’s Becky Butenhoff is the 2022-23 Teacher of the Year.
During her 30 years with Independent School District 549, Butenhoff has served in several different capacities, starting her career as a physical education teacher before transitioning into the classroom full-time as a Business Education Instructor.
Along with her role as a teacher, Butenhoff has served in several different capacities within the district for its extracurricular activities. Butenhoff has coached girls basketball at a variety of levels, softball and currently serves as a girls varsity golf assistant coach.
“It feels like it is not possible. Everybody deserves it for the time and effort that they put in,” Butenhoff said. “You just kind of step back and say thank you, but everyone is deserving of the honor. I am thankful for the job I get to do every day and I am honored.”
In a statement, Hendrickson said Butenhoff’s classes are always held in high regard as illustrated, “Becky’s Accounting and Personal Finance classes are some of the most popular among Perham students. They love to learn about insurance, banking and the financial times that affect us all so much when we enter the real world,” Hendrickson’s statement said.
Butenhoff said she is extremely fortunate and grateful to be honored by her peers in being named the Teacher of the Year.
“I have to say, and this sounds really biased because it’s good where you are at, I think that’s what makes Perham schools so solid is the people around you are teaching with and doing stuff with,” Butenhoff said. “I have had great people to work with and that’s what makes it so interesting.”
Butenhoff says seeing the light bulb go off in the student’s minds is one of her favorite things about teaching.
“It’s always different, new kids, and seeing the light go on in the classroom and not when you walk in, it’s when they see and understand what they are doing and can see how it is going to fit in in real life,” Butenhoff said. “I am very fortunate that I teach a lot of real-life skills. They see that they can use that and put it in place.”
Another favorite for Butenhoff is seeing her students succeed, whether it is in the classroom or when they have graduated from high school and are members of the community.
“Just seeing kids being successful. It is hard to pick out an absolute memory. Watching kids be successful in the classroom and then when they come back, and they are successful in the community. We have not done this recently, but my advanced accounting students would go over to KLN, and they would talk about the different jobs and opportunities that are there,” Butenhoff said. “When we would come back and the five people that were talking to the students were all people that we had in class. They come back to Perham to be a part of the community and that says so much about the community in general and the schools and everyone that is involved here. It is interesting to see those things come out.”
When asked about her impact on current and former students, Butenhoff said she plays just a small part in their success.
“You are just one little piece of the puzzle. You fit in but you play a little piece,” Butenhoff said. “You have a 1000-piece puzzle, and you are just one little piece that fits in. It is just fun to be a part of that and see the success.”
Butenhoff will be presented a plaque made by Perham High School’s Jacket Manufacturing at a small ceremony during the school year recognizing her as the 2022-23 PEA Teacher of the Year.