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Honoring Champions of Education

Karen Butterfield, Ed.D


1993 Arizona Teacher of the Year

Karen Butterfield, Ed.D


Karen Butterfield is a recognized former teacher, administrator and public charter school founder. She is currently a State Level Technical Assistance Specialist with the Region 13 Comprehensive

Center (RG 13 CC) at WestEd, providing support to the Bureau of Indian Education and to the state departments of education in Oklahoma and New Mexico. Her prior educational policy background includes providing technical assistance and guidance to states on educator effectiveness priorities on the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO’s) Education Workforce team. Karen also served as associate superintendent overseeing Academic Achievement and the Highly Effective Teachers & Leaders Divisions for 10 years at the Arizona Department of Education between 2003-2013.

Karen earned her bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees (educational leadership) from Northern Arizona University (NAU), graduating with distinction, including having been the recipient of an honorary doctorate. She has been recognized numerous times for her work in education, including having been named the 1993 Arizona Teacher of the Year®, the National Art Education Association’s Outstanding Teacher in the Southwest Region twice, A Disney America Teacher Honoree, NAU’s Outstanding Doctoral Student, the Governor’s Arts in Education Award (Flagstaff Arts & Leadership Academy: The Honorable Governor Jane Dee Hull), the Flinn Foundation’s Most Influential Educator (twice by two former students), including many other awards/recognitions.

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