20192020 Annual Report

Amidst the chaos that comes with being a high school senior—heavy workload, imagining my future, preparing to leave the home I’ve always known—working as an intern at Butler this past year was honestly one of the last pieces of normalcy I had retained. That is, of course, until the pandemic hit. 

 We all have our own stories of the chaos that has happened because of Covid-19. So much so, in fact, that it’s understandable for one to lose sight of the positives that have persisted in spite of, or even have flourished surrounding the pandemic. 

This time, now more than ever, has reminded me of the strength and importance of community. Butler has always been a community— one that I am proud to be a part of. It has always been here for me. And though we’re made to stay physically distanced, our reliance on our community’s efforts are stronger than ever. From each person wearing masks, to helping neighbors to make sure kids at home are cared for, to making changes to ensure work can continue from home, the foundations of our community are given the spotlight. It’s more important now than ever to remember: the smallest considerations from each of us is what ultimately keeps our community afloat. 

I learned that as a student, as an intern, and most definitely as just another person quarantined at home.

Ten years have passed since I attended Butler Montessori, which is an incredible amount of time -- I did not realize it was so long ago. I was never known for having a great memory, but I do know that I remember the important aspects of being at that school. It was where I met my best friends. It was where I found my passion for writing. It was where I realized that I enjoyed being a leader and effecting change. 

Late last year, I met up with the group of friends I made in Butler for a lunch that took us a good few weeks to plan. At best, our meet-ups happen biannually. At worst, we go months without sending much more than birthday wishes and the occasional meme. Though we barely find time to hang out -- what with our busy college schedules and general lack of time-management -- when we do eventually get together, we are always able to reconnect as though no time has passed. 

Naturally, the conversation shifted to our time in elementary school and all of the adventures and activities we experienced, about which we equally reminisced and griped. Camping at Genesee Valley, trips to the Smithsonian museums, and even the required Presidential Fitness Challenge -- while I was not a particularly athletic person (and am still not), I find myself looking back with fondness at these events, if only because of the great company. My friends and I have grown a lot since our time at Butler, but in experiencing our formative years together, a rare bond was created between us, one that remains strong even after not speaking for months at a time. I know that I can lean on them for support. I know that we can brave difficult times together. And I know that I would not be who I am today without them, as well as without the teachers I had at the school.

It is so important for kids to have mentors, to guide them and help them discover their interests. When I was a student at Butler, those mentors were primarily my teachers. I remember sitting down with my fourth grade teacher, Mrs. Manack, as she complimented the writing in one of my many book reports. I remember being looked to by my sixth-grade teacher, Ms. Bradford, to act as a role model for the younger students. Now, a decade later, I am thankful to have had that responsibility, and for my teachers to have encouraged me to become the leader and the writer I currently am. 

As a recent graduate of the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland, I look back and realize just how much my experience at Butler influenced me to be where I am today. My teachers at Butler inspired me to write, to be creative, to be a leader -- all of which shone through in high school, and even during these past four years as I wrote proposals for Diversity and Inclusion initiatives; as I organized mentorship programs; as I grew my network and cleared a path for others like me to succeed in the future. All I can say is “thank you” to my teachers, my friends, and the nine years at that school for teaching me the importance of surrounding yourself with support, with people who can bring up your confidence and help you get to where you need to be. So, thank you for making my childhood what it was, and for helping me get to where I am now.

My name is Sahara Shrestha and I was at Butler between 2005 -2010 (2nd - 6th grade). I have always been so grateful for the time I spent at Butler School because it allowed me to develop into the person that I am today. Every day I was surrounded by classmates and teachers that challenged me and encouraged me to learn something new and become a leader.

I remember every Friday we used to hike to the famous "Waterfalls" in the woods. We'd pass by the beaver dam and run in our rain boots. We would find salamanders and crawfish and play pretend games. After PE, Mr. Powers would tell us the story of "Little Man with Hair All Over" (one of the best stories ever). I remember singing songs with Mr. Court and recording our own CD mixtape (and even how our class attended his wedding!). We would play kickball in the tennis court with Mr. Normoyle and bother him endlessly during extended-day. I remember Mrs. Bradford telling me how proud she was of me and my classmates after our 6th-grade play of Alice in Wonderland. I remember Mrs. Dave bringing me soft food to eat when I got my braces on and couldn't eat my lunch. I remember Mrs. Haybok staying late in the evenings to wait for my parents to pick me up because they had to drive from far away. I remember Ms. Hardie driving me home from school because I missed the bus. I will never forget my friends Sydney, Shaye, Allison, Sam, and so many many more. These people accepted me as their own, called me out on my flaws, and helped me be better (yes, we were very mature eight-year-olds).

These are all acts of kindness and joy that I cherish and I try every day to exhibit the same level of kindness and joy to others.

Since then, my family moved to Virginia. In 2019 I graduated from Virginia Tech, where I double majored in Environmental Policy and Planning, and Philosophy. I graduated in three years as Summa Cum Laude. I was in Phi Beta Kappa honor society as well as Alpha Phi Omega (APO), a service fraternity. I was an environmental service chair and led many service programs at Virginia Tech. During graduation, I was the commencement speaker and spoke about my philosophy of serving others. I am now a first-year law student at George Mason University Law School and I am planning on pursuing a career in environmental law in the future.

I am grateful for the wonderful memories and experiences.

Thank you Butler School!

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