Students at South Anchorage High School get to learn real-world tech skills in Lee Butterfield’s drone class.


“Democratization of media equipment is insane,” said Butterfield. “It’s cheaper to get good equipment in people’s hands and with the software they have, to be able to edit on their own and work on their own means that they are a viable employee and or entrepreneur as soon as they walk out of this building.”


KTVA 11’s Teacher of the Week helped create the Electronic Communications curriculum at South. Years ago, while an English teacher at Hanshew Middle School, Butterfield came across a room full of broken smart boards that no one could seem to fix.


“I grew up on a ranch where, when something broke, you had to fix it. You had to find the things to fix it,” explained Butterfield. “Working on a ranch and doing our own electricity and wiring our own vehicles, it was easy for me to crack the back open and make these boards work.”


The Anchorage School District took notice and Butterfield would eventually transition from English to Communications Tech.


The former infantryman with the Army oversees school announcements, teaches video production and helps students build the tools necessary to broadcast live.


“Our students run our packed gear, travel all over the state, set it back up, set the networks up, wire it up and stream live to YouTube for hours and hours and hours,” said Butterfield.


His students will live-stream the start, mid-way point and finish of the Iron Dog this winter on the school’s YouTube page.


Butterfield said the secret to his success is never being satisfied. “Never believing I’ve reached success. What are we going to do tomorrow that’s going to be better than what we did today?”


Students said they see Butterfield not only as a great teacher, but also as a mentor.


“He has taught me so much about, just being a person, in general being a good person not just video stuff,” said 11th grader Trevor Bailly. “I’ve learned a lot of character building stuff from him.”





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