You might see her passing by in the hallway, studying in the library, swimming at the YMCA, writing an award-winning story, or creating an attention-getting piece of art. Her name is Eileen Butler. Butler is an all-around accomplished student, artist, writer and swimmer. But underneath her many achievements, she is an admirable human being.
Last year, Butler took the PSAT, a test administered to sophomores and juniors. If a student earns a high enough score, he/she gets to be a National Merit semi-finalist. When Butler saw her scores, she was almost certain that hers was high enough to be a semi-finalist. She had to fill out an application, which included writing an essay to enter for the National Merit Scholarship. When she found out she was a semi-finalist this September, she was excited. When a student wins the National Merit Scholarship, they receive $2,500, and they receive more opportunities for scholarships and recognition. Recently, Butler learned that she is a finalist and eagerly awaits the final results.
She is still learning a lot for art.
“A lot of what I do is still imitation,” she said. “If I find something I really, really like, I will try to replicate it. Sometimes I will try to change some things. A lot of it is the perfection of recreating the image.” She uses graphite and pencils a lot, but she wants to paint more. She has used oil paints, and she wants to explore water color.
Along with her Art Major class, Butler is taking five AP classes: English Literature and Composition, Calculus BC, Art, Psychology, Physics. The classwork isn’t overbearing for her, but there are times when she hasn’t done her homework. She spends her off-time browsing the Internet.
“The Internet is an awful, beautiful place. I could probably be doing a lot more stuff if I didn’t procrastinate,” she said.
Butler writes science-fiction and fantasy stories when she finds time. She doesn’t write as much as she would like, but she is getting back into it. She mostly writes for school and Gazebo. Butler heard about the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, and she submitted a short-story about a girl in a world where everyone had wings and hers didn’t work. She received a Gold Key award, which is the top 5 percent of submissions, and her story was forwarded to the national competition. Butler didn’t win a national award, but she was very happy to have a Gold Key.
Most of Butler’s ideas come to her when she’s half-asleep. She finds this frustrating because she must either get up and write the idea down and be awake for hours, or go to bed and forget it. Eileen also likes to play with the opposite of stereotypes.
She said, “Here’s a stereotypical story. Now let’s MESS with it!”
Butler is also on the swim team here at PAHS, and has been swimming for the greater part of her life. She is one of the key relay members on the girls’ team. During the summer, she has lifeguarding job at the YMCA.
Besides school, writing, creating art, swimming, and lifeguarding in the summer, Eileen travels, as well. She’s been to many places, including Australia, France, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Nicaragua, Mexico, England, and Italy. She’s going to China again this summer to see her extended family.
She has no siblings or pets, but Eileen has close relationships with her parents.
“We just chill, watch movies, and we eat out quite a bit,” she said. Her father is the advisor for the girls’ Robotics team, and Eileen is in the Robotics club. Eileen also spends time with her dad spouting quotes from “The Lord of the Rings.”
As for college, Butler hasn’t decided on one yet, but she has applied to eight colleges. She applied to most colleges as an Architecture major, but she applied to Princeton as an Engineering major, and to Harvard as Undecided.
Butler is an intelligent, creative person. She is a finalist for the National Merit Scholarship, has won a Gold Key for the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, and she astounds people with her artistic abilities. But underneath all of that is someone who procrastinates, loves to browse the Internet, and barely gets enough sleep.