Middle School ELA, Social Studies, School Culture Change

Rich Butler

Middle School ELA, Social Studies, School Culture Change

Passion, Expertise and Contribution

Support the development of a 12-month professional development strategy on Educating for Sustainability (EfS) for Sustainability Ambassadors’ PBL Curriculum Design Labs.

Serve as a change agent and key communicator within the Pine Lake Middle School community and engage the administration of the Issaquah School District to open district-wide possibilities.


Collaborate with OSPI’s Environmental and Sustainability Education Program in sharing success stories and models state-wide.


Develop and share LASS lessons with an emphasis on integrating Impact Project Design.


Support the development of a regional Sustainability Speech and Debate Tournament for Middle School.


Collaborate with student Ambassadors on the annual Sammamish Town Hall @ School lesson plans, event, and follow up actions.


Seek opportunities to present at professional teacher conferences and publish EfS-PBL success stories on teacher blogs or other professional association platforms.


Participate in one or more PBL Curriculum Design Labs to support both teachers and students in applied problem solving.


Support  career-connected learning by developing opportunities for students to explore Green Job Youth Pathways profiles and resources.


Design ways to integrate SA Impact Storytelling into personal and professional communications channels and platforms.


Support Ambassadors in building positive scenarios for the year 2050 through the Summer Series of 2050 WORKOUTS.


Attend the annual 2050 Update (August) and help promote it as widely as possible.

About Rich

Rich knows about change. He has at one time or another been a teacher, a coach, a real estate title representative and appraiser, a camp program director, an operations manager for a catering firm, a family pastor, a TOSA leading K-12 program reviews, an elementary principal, and an educational technology leader and trainer. Oh. And he worked for the post office as well.


Rich’s interests are wide, and he loves a new challenge. It probably started with his high school experience. He attended Valhalla High School in El Cajon, CA, one of the first open concept high schools in the nation using a team taught, independent learning approach. He loved it so much that he majored in history, minored in English, and got his California teaching credential from San Diego State University. He started his teaching career back at Valhalla on the Humanities Team. He then proceeded to get his Masters in Curriculum and Instruction, co-writing his thesis with a colleague on the turbulent history and seismic shifts that Valhalla has experienced.


Rich's fascination with the impacts of change on educational systems continues with his work in the Northwest. As a TOSA in the Issaquah SD, he applied the research on the Understanding by Design process to program reviews for K-12 Social Studies, Language Arts, and Health/Fitness. He then worked closely with other technology leaders on a revamp of the educational technology training program.

And now he pivots to an even greater challenge – how to integrate the principles of educating for sustainability in the lives of students, the curricula of all disciplines, the pedagogy of instruction, and the vision and mission of school districts across the nation.


Change. It's a beautiful thing.