“It’s a great honor,” Butera said. “I feel like I’m following in the footsteps of people who have made important contributions to the field.”
Butera’s current research focuses on developing curriculum in preschools and activities that support growth no matter the child’s need. Specifically, she’s used storybooks in the past to develop curriculum.
“Most children love storybooks, so we used familiar storybooks to be explicit and deliberate about teaching vocabulary and oral language,” she explained.
Butera is currently the co-director of the Community of Teachers program, an inclusive teacher preparation program for undergraduate and graduate students seeking certification in secondary education. She also serves as the coordinator of the graduate certification and masters programs in special education. Butera has taught special education in a variety of settings including preschool and elementary, as well as middle and high school self-contained and resource room settings in her teaching assignments.
Edward and Mary Lou Otting established the Otting Chair in Special Education in 1998. They have been instrumental in supporting special education teachers at the IU School of Education.