BUTTE — Butte Central High School’s trailblazing principal J.P. Williams has accomplished a lot in just four years, so his departure from the school is bittersweet.
“I’m going to miss him extremely, I mean, I’m not going to lie, I was crying when I went into the office because he’s a wonderful man,” said Butte Central Administrative Assistant Cristina McAnulty.
Principal Williams has accepted a new position as special education director for the Montana Office of Public Instruction and will oversee special needs programs across the state.
“Absolutely excited about this opportunity and really looking forward to just connecting with teachers, with students, with families,” said Williams.
Williams started at Butte Central in 2018 and quickly grew to be popular among students and staff.
“I’m going to miss all of my friends and students here at Butte Central whom I love dearly. It is such a close, tight-knit community and family and it’s really special,” he said.
Williams is credited for improving graduation rates and establishing a dual-credit enrollment program with the Montana University System.
“He has been a great mentor for me. I have always felt like I could go to him if I had an issue with a student, any problems,” said Central Teacher Elizabeth Borrowman.
For many students and staff, it’s J.P.’s infectious enthusiasm for the school and education that they’re going to miss most.
“He’s always helped me solve problems and he gave me my first chance in the teaching business, so I couldn’t be more grateful for him,” said history teacher Archie Petritz.
Student Cloe Stillwagon added, “He’s a really good principal and I just love him a lot."
When asked what she was going to miss about him?
“His exciting announcements when he says, 'Gooooo Maroooons!' That’s what I’ll miss,” Cloe said.
Williams will begin his new job with the state in July.