Scholarship Series

Janet and Shanna's Story

Janet Butterfield and her daughter, Shanna Petty, are both scheduled to graduate from the University of Montevallo in May 2023 with master’s degrees in instructional leadership.

As proponents of lifelong learning, the mother-daughter duo is living the dream.

Janet and Shanna ButterfieldBut the pair wouldn’t be able to pursue their shared passion for education if it weren’t for scholarships and the generous individuals who fund UM’s scholarships.

“For years I toyed with the idea of going back to school, and for one reason or another such as having young children, putting children through college, getting my National Board Certification and moving, I didn’t see how I could do that,” said Butterfield, who has taught for 23 years.

It wasn’t until they looked at UM’s instructional leadership program and discovered the Montevallo Education Partnership Scholarship program that they found what they were looking for, and a way to further pursue it.

“With Montevallo offering the scholarship and the COVID-19 pandemic, I realized it was time to come back,” said Butterfield, originally from New Mexico. “Montevallo is serious about the application process and accepting educators into the program who want to grow professionally,” said Butterfield.

Petty, who was born in Texas, said watching her mom teach was the primary reason she became a teacher. She was also a big influence on her choice to further her education, this time along with her.

“I think there is and always has been a critical need for quality teachers in the classroom,” said Butterfield. “That begins with the level of instruction they receive at the college level. When donors give toward scholarships, they are giving to future generations.”

A number of veteran teachers are getting closer to retirement each year and more quality teachers are needed, but many can’t afford to go to school. Scholarships help alleviate that financial burden.

Petty said teachers pursuing their passion to further their education becomes a little more exciting and doable when there’s a financial path forward.

“Donors are helping encourage lifelong learning and quality education as well as students becoming teacher-leaders,” she said.

Both mom and daughter said their time at Montevallo has been well spent. The level and quality of instruction they’ve received have been extremely impressive, they said. And the professors have made “our” success their success.

“I know what I’m getting is quality,” Butterfield said. “Also, doing this with Shanna has made it more enjoyable. It’s fun to be in school together.”

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