(Posted April 14, 2017)
By Linda Dillman, Staff Writer
A new principal will walk the hallways of West Jefferson High School next school year.
On April 10, the school board approved a three-year contract for Michael Bute to replace David Metz, who is retiring July 31 after decades as an educator, administrator and coach.
“Mike was a consensus pick,” said Superintendent William Mullett.
Bute, who currently serves as the middle/high school principal in the Antwerp school system, graduated from Antwerp High School in 1990 and is a 1995 graduate of the University of Toledo.
He spent the last six years in the Antwerp district and, along with approximately 55 other candidates, applied for the West Jefferson principal position after Metz announced his plans to retire.
“There is a strong sense of community support and pride here that I found very appealing,” said Bute, “and I am honored to be part of the West Jefferson community.”
In other presentations, Metz shared news with school board members regarding senior Brie Mullins, a student artist who spent part of her junior year in Spain as part of a Rotary Club exchange program.
Mullins was recently selected by the Rotary Club of Columbus as a 2017 recipient of the organization’s Youth Exchange Scholarship Exchange and, as a result, will spend 10 months in Thailand.
The $24,000 scholarship covers room, board, tuition and a monthly stipend for one academic year.
In an April 4 Rotary Club press release, Mullins thanked the club for the honor and said she will be a proud representative.
“I am not fluent in Thai, but I’m taking steps to ensure I’ll be able to soak up as much culture as possible by learning what language I can before I leave for this adventure,” said the West Jefferson High School senior.
“Throughout my high school career, I’ve squeezed as many fine arts classes into my schedule as possible, participated in the theatre program, volunteered to help for the arts council, as well as being a member of every band my school has to offer.”
The student’s artwork, “When in Doubt, Pinky Out,” was one of 25 high school art pieces out of 300 on display in the James Rhoades State Office Tower and Governor’s office selected as a Governor’s Award of Excellence winner.
The annual art exhibition, which runs through the end of May, attracted 11,500 regional entries, which were then whittled down to 2,500 for state-level judging before the final 300 pieces were selected for the exhibition, followed by selection of the top 25.
During the 2016 exhibition, Mullins had two pieces on display in the Governor’s office, “Pity Party” and “Go to Your Happy Place.”