The class of two thousand and twelve wishes to extend an enormous thank you to our principal, Mr. Bruce Butler. We realize no formal expressions of gratitude can ever match the dedication that Mr. Butler has given to this school for the past 14 years. Mr. Butler has shown us all by example what it means to be a leader, to take pride in our school, to stand up to negativity, and to consistently expect compassion, respect, persistence, and excellence. The Class of 2012 wants to thank him for attending countless athletic events, chorus, orchestra and band concerts, art showcases, dance performances, fall plays and spring musicals, speech and debate tournaments, and many more celebrations of our class’ talents and accomplishments. His attendance at almost each and every event is a testament to just how much he has cared about our school, and this makes him an inspiration to all of us.
Our class was the first at South Lakes after its redistricting by Fairfax County. We have grown together, and rapidly made lifelong friends, striving to achieve ever higher levels of school spirit. We want to thank Mr. Butler for his hard work at those long board meetings, where he relentlessly fought to defend the school and refute false or misleading statements made about South Lakes. He displayed to the rest of the county the faith and pride he had in the school; these were contagious for the Class of 2012. He is an example to all of us about what it means to stand up for what you believe in, and when opposition is raised, to listen politely, yet never falter in your conviction. We want to thank him for his example, guidance, and long hours of work to make our four years of high school truly enriching. Our class has talent, intellect and heart all across the board, and we never could have united in the way we did without the refreshing, encouraging atmosphere Mr. Butler created for us here at South Lakes. We want to thank him for seeing us through our entire journey, and for having more faith in each and every one of us than we may have had in ourselves at times.
We want to wish him the best of luck in retirement, and to share in love and excitement as both Mr. Butler and the Class of 2012 begin entirely new chapters of life. It is sad to see something so great come to an end, but this ending is just the beginning for us. Mr. Butler’s work and dedication helped us define this moment as not just a new stage, but also as the beginning of a promising journey for all of us. For that, we will forever be grateful, and we will hold Mr. Butler in our hearts forever. In the words of President John F. Kennedy, "As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them." Thank you, Mr. Butler.
Class of 2012
Written by Abigail Reed, Class President