English teacher says inspiring students is exactly what he’s always wanted to do.
(Also, in a recent video, NDP English and literature teacher Anthony Butorac talks about what inspires him to inspire students.)
(Published in the September-October 2014 Blarney Stone)
Anthony Butorac, a teacher at Notre Dame Prep and chair of the school’s English department, is living his “prep school” dream.
“As corny as it sounds, I always thought I’d like to teach literature in a prep school in that clichéd ‘Dead Poets Society’ kind of way,” Butorac says. “So far, it appears that everything has worked out as I envisioned. I’m really happy here at Notre Dame.”
Butorac majored in English at Oakland University and then received his master’s degree, also in English, from Saginaw Valley State University. While in college, he started to think about what he would do with an English degree. Teaching English, of course, was always there, he thought.
“At first I thought it was the only thing an English major could really do,” he says. “But once I started doing the work, it became clear to me that it in fact was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.”
The right place
Butorac came to Notre Dame in the fall of 2007 after a year as a substitute teacher in the Rochester school system. Once he got his footing on Notre Dame’s campus, however, he knew he was in the right place.
“Notre Dame was different from the other schools I spent time at in that it has a very strong community where there is a lot of support for me to grow as a teacher and professional. It’s also a place where I felt I would be respected as a professional.”
Butorac says that at Notre Dame he gets to be creative and has the freedom to be very passionate about the literature he teaches. He says his students seem to really latch on to that passion.
Since joining the teaching staff at NDPMA, Butorac says he’s witnessed a lot of changes, especially within the English department. “We’ve had some new hires in the department and we’ve been able to put a stellar group of teachers together,” he says. “And each new hire seems to fit in so well. I feel like I’ve really watched the department grow in such a healthy, positive way.”
Butorac, who is married (Angela) and has a one-year-old son (Troy), also has a healthy respect for the mission of the school. “I think the most important part of my job is mentoring the students and being a strong role model. This is how I’ve always interpreted the Marist philosophy of education.”
When asked about what he might be doing if he wasn’t a teacher, Butorac doesn’t hesitate. “If I were not a teacher, I would be a very lost soul who wished he were a teacher.”
Follow Notre Dame on Twitter at @NDPMA.
About Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy
Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy is a private, Catholic, independent, coeducational day school located in Oakland County. The school's upper division enrolls students in grades nine through twelve and has been named one of the nation's best 50 Catholic high schools (Acton Institute) four times since 2005. Notre Dame's middle and lower divisions enroll students in jr. kindergarten through grade eight. All three divisions are International Baccalaureate "World Schools." NDPMA is conducted by the Marist Fathers and Brothers and is accredited by the Independent Schools Association of the Central States and the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement. For more on Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy, visit the school's home page at www.ndpma.org.