Smith High School band director dies
GREENSBORO, N.C. — The band director of Ben L. Smith High School died Saturday night after working as a deejay at a Virginia high school’s prom.
Charles L. Butler, 54, was preparing to leave the prom after it had ended at Magna Vista High School in Ridgeway when he collapsed, his wife, Donna Butler, told the Martinsville Bulletin.
Guilford County Schools officials said a crisis team has been made available for students at Smith High School on Monday.
According to the Bulletin, Butler taught at Albert Harris Elementary School in Martinsville from 1982 to 1998 before moving to Greensboro with his family.
He frequently returned to the Martinsville region to deejay at school events and would sometimes bring the Smith High School band to perform at half-time shows, the paper reports.
Butler received a degree in music education from North Carolina A&T State University.
Past colleagues and family members described Butler as a gifted teacher who had a “huge impact” on students.
The current band director of Martinsville High School, one of Butler’s former students, said Butler had a knack for bringing popular music into the classroom.
Butler was honored as Smith High School’s ‘Teacher of the Year’ from 2008 to 2009.
In addition to his wife, Butler is survived by his two sons, Charlz and Chase Butler.
Greensboro’s Perry J. Brown Funeral Home is handling memorial service arrangements.