Pacifica Hires Founding English Department Chair and Director of Associated Students
Pacifica Christian High School-Orange County announced today the hiring of Hayden Butler as Pacifica’s English Department Chair and Director of Associated Students. Mr. Butler currently teaches English and Theology while serving as Department Chair of English at Capistrano Valley Christian Schools (CVCS). In 2012, Mr. Butler won the Head of Schools Award for excellence in instruction and development of the Mentorship Program. Mr. Butler also serves as a Mentor for Wheatstone Academy and is a frequent panel speaker at The Conference on Christianity and Literature.
“Mr. Butler teaches students to read, write, and think with precision and conviction for the purpose of living a meaningful life,” says Dr. Ben Roberson, Principal. “He uses the great questions, ideas, and literature of the past 2,500 years as a platform for inquiry and reflection into how students live in today’s culture.”
“Mr. Butler leads his students on an adventure through the greatest literature written, and brings to life the power of the written and spoken word,” says David O’Neil, Head of School. “As analytical readers, effective writers, and persuasive communicators, his students leave Pacifica ready to think and live well in college and in our world.”
We encourage you to learn more about Mr. Butler by reading his biography below.
Hayden Butler’s Bio
Hayden Butler’s life is marked by a love for education and a desire to see students learn and thrive. Mr. Butler attended Biola University, where he studied English Literature and the Bible. He also attended Biola’s Torrey Honors Institute where he studied the great books in the Socratic mode of learning. He learned curriculum-craft and pedagogy from his English advisor and Torrey professors, all of whom are master teachers. During this time, Hayden also connected with Wheatstone Ministries, which works to instill a love of learning and living in high school students and teachers. Mr. Butler graduated Summa cum Laude from Biola and earned Highest Honors from the Torrey Honors Institute
After college, Hayden sojourned briefly in the business world, but soon thereafter took a post teaching AP Literature at his alma mater, CVCS. During his time there, Hayden served on several strategic planning and curriculum boards, held four class advisorships, and spoke in all-school chapels. In the English and Biblical Studies Departments, he developed curriculum centered on Socratic pedagogy and explored its practical applications for conventional classroom environments. This study uncovered the benefits of interdisciplinary academics and, more broadly, a schooling integrated with the cultivation of virtue, toward the goal of living a good life. Mr. Butler’s endeavors met with success both in, and out of the classroom. He built a sterling record for AP test scores, received awards for curriculum and instruction, and helped students find their place and footing in both industry and academy.
At CVCS, Mr. Butler founded several programs designed to integrate subject areas into collaborative interdepartmental relationships, and to bridge interpersonal gaps between students and faculty in order to create a cooperative environment for learning. In 2012, he became the Chair of the English Department, and focused his attentions on empowering fellow teachers to model excellent learning themselves, while creating excellent classroom experiences. Despite the rigors of his multi-faceted job, Mr. Butler can still be found hosting discussions after class, praying with students, and visiting alumni.
Mr. Butler received his MA in English Literature from the School of Humanities at UC Irvine, focusing especially on the relationship between theological upheaval and literary production during the English Renaissance. This interdisciplinary approach was spurred by his simultaneous studies in Theology and Pastoral Ministry, as Hayden pursued a calling as a bi-vocational minister in the Anglican Church. His pedagogical and pastoral capacities have been united in a vocation of shepherding young people into goodness, truth, and beauty through both church and school, to care for the whole soul of his students.
In 2015, Mr. Butler will join the team at Pacifica as the Chair of the English Department. He looks forward to crafting a curriculum that will enrich students’ abilities to read texts carefully and liberally while broadening their abilities to think creatively and critically. Students will study texts to sharpen their God-given faculties; but also look beyond the classroom to see how Literature puts us in conversation with the mystery at the heart of the persons made in His image. Ultimately, students at Pacifica will become proficient practitioners of the English language while cultivating a knowledge and love for God, for themselves, for each other, and for the place and world in which they live.
Hayden and his wife Christy are active members in their church and enjoy running half-marathons, cooking dinner, and listening to music. The Butlers are thrilled to share life with Pacifica and its people in the days ahead.
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