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Newly appointed school board member Robert “Butch” Cecil shares the same last name as current board member Mike Cecil. They are first cousins. But, according to Butch, that has nothing to do with his desire to serve on the school board.
“It doesn’t matter who you are related to. I’m my own person,” Butch Cecil said. “One of the big reasons I got on the board is that I love helping the kids. Mike didn’t have anything to do with it.”
Butch Cecil was appointed to the Marion County Board of Education on Oct. 31 by Kentucky Commissioner of Education Dr. Terry Holliday. He fills the District 3 seat, which was left vacant by school board member Ed Hacker, who resigned on July 11. He will finish the remainder of the four-year term, which will end in January of 2015.
When the school board seat became vacant Butch said several people mentioned it to him and suggested he apply, including Hacker, who serves with him on the parish council at St. Francis of Xavier Catholic Church. Initially, he was hesitant. But, the more he thought about it, the more he wanted to give it a try.
“I want to help the kids,” Butch said. “Whatever is best for those students is what I want.”
Butch was born in Marion County. His mom was from St. Mary and his dad was from Raywick. But, his parents moved to Louisville in 1949, when he was only a year old. He was raised in the south end of Louisville, and graduated from DeSales High School, an all-boys Catholic school.
He’s now retired from a long career in management with the Overnight Transportation Company and UPS Freight. His career took him to Michigan and Tennessee, but nine years ago he and his wife decided to move back home to his family’s farm in Raywick.
“I am officially retired now,” Butch said. I bought the family farm in Raywick. I am the sixth generation to live on this farm.”
Butch’s 121-acre farm includes 20 head of cattle and a soybean crop.
“I’m really not a farmer. I’m a city farmer,” Butch said, laughing. “I’ve learned a lot.”
Butch’s wife, Kathy, works in the accounting department at Sisters of Charity Nazareth in Bardstown. They have three daughters – one lives in Fort Myers, Fla., and two live in Louisville, and he has a stepson who lives in Indianapolis, Ind. They also have five grandchildren.
When he’s not tending to the farm or visiting with family, Butch enjoys volunteering with the Sisters of Charity Nazareth. His volunteer work has taken him to Belize, Mexico and New Orleans.
Butch said he looks forward to his work with the Marion County Board of Education.
“From what I’ve seen already, the numbers aren’t that good regarding students ready for college and career, but it looks like we are going in the direction that we need to be going in,” he said. “I’m hoping I can bring some stability to the board.”
Butch said one thing he would like to see happen in the future in regards to the school board is setting term limits.
“I think you need new faces, new ideas,” he said.
As the newest board member, he feels he will be effective because of his willingness to speak up and out.
“If there is something on my mind I’m going to tell them,” he said. “I say what’s on my mind. I’m not going to hold back. I’m not a ‘yes person.’”
SCHOOL BOARD MEMBERS' TERMS
• DeLane Pinkston - District one
Pinkston's seat will be up for election in November of 2015. District one includes the following voting precincts: Gravel Switch, Bradfordsville, Glasscock School and fire department.
• Michael Mullins - District two
Mullins' seat will be up for election in November of 2014. District two includes the following voting precincts: Courthouse, Hamilton Heights and Calvary voting precincts.
• Robert “Butch” Cecil - District three
The district three seat will be up for election in November of 2014. District three includes the following voting precincts: Depot, Jessietown and Raywick.
• Mike Cecil - District four
Cecil's seat will be up for election in November of 2015. District four includes the following voting precincts: St. Charles, Loretto, St. Francis and Holy Cross.
• Bernard Miles - District five
Miles' seat will be up for election in November of 2015. District five includes the following voting precincts: Library, Rolling Hills and Centre Square.