By DON FLETCHER
News Staff Writer
A ceremony intended to dedicate a donated Christmas tree turned into a double celebration Friday, December 2, when Escambia County High School Principal Kike Pettaway announced that Stephanie Buitron has been selected by her peers as the school’s Teacher of the Year for 2022.
Lillie Johnson, president of the Yellow Hats Society, said the local group — which donated the decorated tree (see separate story, page 8) — had no role in Buitron’s selection.
“Yellow Hats didn’t have anything to do with that; the faculty voted on it,” Johnson said, adding her endorsement of the selection. “If I had been voting, I would have voted for Ms. Buitron. She’s served this county well for a long time.”
Buitron, who has been a member of the ECHS faculty since 2009, graduated from the school in 1986. She spent four years in the U.S. Marine Corps, then earned her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, with a concentration in Operations Management, from DeVry University in 2000.
The school’s top teacher, who was also a member of the Alabama Army National Guard from 2009 to 2018, teaches Career Technical Education and is a robotics instructor.
Her dedication to the school goes beyond that, though.
Buitron is advisor for the Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG), Future Business Leaders of America, and National Academy Foundation (NAF) organizations at ECHS and heads up the school’s Robotics Club.
She is also listed on the school’s web page as ECHS’ head girls basketball coach, as well as an assistant football and softball coach.