By Shanika Whaley
He is highly respected by the faculty and students at San Diego City College. His teaching career began before most students were born and he has worked with some amazing musicians through the years.
Winston Butler, City’s dean of Arts and Humanities, has retired. After being in the teaching profession for over 36 years, he felt that it was time for a break.
“It’s time,” he said. “I’m at a certain age where I want to do more creative things; theatrical or working with recording artists.”
Butler started his career in the 1970s at 23 years old.
In the beginning, he was the Theater Department chairman at a Los Angeles college, a position he held for 10 years.
He also taught at that same school for some time. When he left Los Angeles, Butler was only at City College as a temporary dean. At the same time, he also held a teaching position at Miramar College for one year, until he received a call asking to come back to City College as a full-time dean.
“I was actually invited back to City College,” he said.
Faculty members here at City College said they have a lot of admiration for Butler because of the trust and experience he has.
The San Diego City College newspaper has a lot to thank Butler for. With the help of Roman Koenig, journalism adviser, the newspaper has had a complete makeover. Butler hired Koenig in 2003.
“Roman is phenomenal,” Butler said. “Before, the paper was like a flyer.” He added, “I’m very proud of the accomplishments and awards the paper has won.”
Koenig had nothing but good things to say about Butler. They both met in August 2003 when Koenig was first hired.
“He trusted my experience,” he said. “As a new dean at the time, he had a new fresh approach.”
Another adviser Butler is responsible for hiring is Mark DeBoskey, manager for KSDS Jazz 88.3 radio station on campus.
Also at the radio station is Joe Kocherhans, music director/operations of KSDS radio, who thought very highly of Butler.
“Winston was a good guy,” Kocherhans said. “He was very supportive of the arts and radio station. He was cordial, easy to work with. Once in a while, he would call in and request a song.”
“The station is popular with the community,” Butler said. “They sponsor art in San Diego County.”
Along with his teaching profession, Butler has worked with legendary musicians along the way, as well as doing a little traveling.
“I’ve worked with Herbie Hancock, Chaka Khan,” he continued, “and I’ve traveled all over the world.”
Butler has had an busy life – teaching, working with talented musicians, traveling all over the world. Now he wants to take a break. However, is it possible?
“Even though I’m retired I still have a lot to do.” Butler said. “I’ve got letters of recommendation to write, papers to look at, I’m still working.”