Kassidy Butt receives first Murtagh scholarship

JAIME CAMPOS/Staff photoKassidy Butt, who is the winner of the first Cara Murtagh Memorial Scholarship, is seen here as she waves to her friends as they drive by during a parade with the help of the Peabody Police Department to celebrate Kassidy's 18th birthday on April 8.

Kassidy Butt, a graduating senior at Peabody Veterans Memorial High School, is the first ever winner of a new scholarship in memory of the city's late, and beloved, schools superintendent Cara Murtagh.

The Peabody Education Foundation announced Butt as the winner of the first Cara E. Murtagh Memorial Scholarship on May 21. Seven applications were received, and she was unanimously chosen, the foundation said.

Butt was selected based upon her accomplishments in academics, leadership, community service and her proven interest in a career in the field of education, according to PEF.

Butt, a member of the National Honor Society and PVMHS DECA club as well as a varsity lacrosse player, celebrated her 18th birthday in April with a caravan of friends who paraded by her family's house in their cars — keeping a safe social distance.

The scholarship was established in February to honor Murtagh’s memory, her dedication and commitment to education, and her love for Peabody's schoolchildren. Murtagh, 44, died suddenly the day after Thanksgiving. A longtime Peabody educator, she was in her second year as superintendent.

"Cara will always be remembered for her kind and loving personality, her enthusiasm and flawless attention to detail, and ability to develop strong relationships with students, teachers and administrators," the announcement said.

"Kassidy Butt possesses the same passion for education and will clearly follow the career path she has chosen," says PEF. "She will be a strong advocate for all children and will impart the importance of a good education on every child she encounters."

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