Butler Community College Recognizes Father, Mother, Daughter Graduates | Butler Community College

Butler Community College Recognizes Father, Mother, Daughter Graduates

The Ciesielski family poses at the 2024 graduation.
The Ciesielski family, (L-R) Eddie, Madi and Tabitha prepare to walk at the 2024 Commencement Ceremony. Eddie is an Order of the Gold inductee and Madi received a transfer scholarship as a Hubbard Award of Excellence finalist and is an Order of the Purple inductee. (Photo Credit: Rodney Dimick)
Published: Tuesday, May 21st, 2024

Father Order of the Gold inductee; daughter Order of the Purple inductee and Hubbard Award of Excellence finalist.

Written by: Caleb Sanderson

For the second year in a row, Butler Community College graduation features family members graduating together, as Edward (Eddie), Tabitha and Madisen (Madi) Ciesielski of Valley Center walked together at the 2024 Commencement. 

After some prompting from their older daughter, Cadence, Eddie and Tabitha decided to enroll alongside Music Education major Madi. “Attending school with my wife and daughter has been a unique experience that has inspired me to excel,” Eddie, Order of the Gold inductee and business technology major, expressed. Madi is an Order of the Purple inductee and received a transfer scholarship as a Hubbard Award of Excellence finalist. 

Although Madi resided on campus, they greatly enjoyed the shared experience. “Having my husband and daughter there to inspire me and challenge me has been a gift,” Liberal Arts major Tabitha said. Madi described it as “very weird” with a gleam in her eyes and a wide smile. Madi said they were advocates for each other’s academic success throughout their journeys. 

Along with the academic support the three provided for each other, Madi’s parents were also invested in her musical talents and performances with A Cappella and Concert Choir. “Visiting the campus for my daughter’s performances has been a source of immense pride for me,” Eddie enthused. “There’s something special about witnessing her talents unfold on stage and being part of a student body with so much talent.” 

Madi claims many of her fellow vocal musicians adore her father and his dedication to Butler Vocal performances. She has also heard students she knows speak positively about being in class with her mom. Madi thinks it’s neat that her fellow students know her parents and can see why she thinks they’re both such great people. 

Butler has challenged the family members in a lasting way. Eddie spoke highly of his Business Technology instructors, specifically Beth Cunningham and Karen Waddell. “Both professors’ expertise in business technologies provided me with a solid foundation in the field,” he voiced. “Their support and guidance were instrumental in helping me complete my Business Technology degree and have left a lasting impression on my professional outlook.” 

Tabitha appreciates the broadened perspective she gained while taking classes with students of various ages, including high schoolers. She enjoyed reading about her classmates’ viewpoints and comparing them to her own. 

Madi credits Matthew Udland and Chad Ingram of the Vocal Music department and Brett Martinez of the Music Education department for part of her success. “Mr. Udland has been a mentor in so many ways,” Madi beamed. “He’s really good at making someone feel important and teaching you things you didn’t think you needed.” She also commended Ingram for never letting his students doubt their self-worth and for seeing strength in them. 

Madi is active at Butler, including as a Resident Assistance (RA), the social media manager for Allied with Pride, the Instagram manager for the Arts, Digital Media and Communication department and more. She is also the Vice President elect for Kansas C-NAfME (Collegiate National Association for Music Educators). Madi credited Martinez for encouraging her to run for office. 

Her parents are immensely proud of her. “I will just add that if Madisen had not had such an amazing experience at Butler and been such a champion for us going through this with her, I am not sure that I would have finished it,” Tabitha noted. “Having her be so excited every semester and with every show and performance has kept us energized and happy to be a part of the BCC community.” 

When expressing her support and joy for her parents’ academic achievements, Madi began to cry. Like her parents are of her, she could not be more proud of the hard work and sacrifices they’ve made to meet this milestone. 

Madi is attending Wichita State University in the fall to continue her music education degree and will continue her involvement with vocal performances there, such as church choir with Dr. Ryan Beeken.  

Both Tabitha and Eddie plan to stay with their current careers, Tabitha as a middle school bookkeeper and registrar staff, and Eddie as a large bank team member for nearly three decades. Tabitha is open to taking accounting classes in the future to benefit her current role and Eddie plans to use his newly acquired degree to excel on his “ongoing project and future initiatives.” 

Madi became teary-eyed when talking about leaving Butler and Eddie communicated deep appreciation for his time here. “I’d like to express my sincere gratitude for the supportive faculty and staff at Butler,” he said. “Their dedication made a significant difference in my educational experience.” 

Read about last year’s graduating family here: 2023 Butler Commencement Features Mother, Sister and Daughter Graduates

The Ciesielski family celebrates their upcoming graduation.