Distance Learning Coordinator

Broward County Public Schools


It was at Mercy College that Dr. Mary Ann Butler-Pearson says she learned teachers could be all business during class, and all love and caring outside the classroom. It's a lesson she says she learned from Dr. Eva Ellis, and one she has carried with her throughout her more than 30 years working with students.

“I have modeled my teaching career after that of Eva Ellis," she said. "I have tried to teach my students to strive toward excellence and expect the best from themselves... to encourage them to aspire beyond the ordinary and recognize their gifts."

Her gifts, too have been recognized. The Broward County School District named her "Teacher of the Year" in 1993, and the state of Florida named her "Geology Teacher of the Year." Butler-Pearson is two-time state winner of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science Teaching, has appeared in "Who's Who Among America's Teachers, and traveled to Japan as a Fulbright Memorial Fund Scholar.

After graduating from Merey in 1969 with a bachelor's degree in Biology, Butler Pearson started teaching Earth Science and Biology. She continued teaching until 1997, when she left the classroom and took a position as the distance learning coordinator for Florida's Broward County Schools, the nation's fifth largest school system. She has incorporated the use of videoconferencing, the Internet and cable television to bring education to students at home, school, or wherever they have access to an appropriate communication mode.

Butler-Pearson earned her master's of science degree in Administration/Supervision from Nova Southeastern University in Ft. Lauderdale in 1978, and her doctorate in Education from that school in 1997. She was certified as a Distance Education Professional by Texas A&M University in 1999. She has served since 1996 as an adjunct instructor and assistant site administrator for the Graduate Teacher Education Program at Nova Southeastern University. Her writings have been published in various journals and magazines; she has presented at international, national, state and local conferences; and she is a charter member and Advisory Board Chairperson of the Florida League of Teachers.