By Danyelle Leentjes | Seeds of Learning
The stars of Dancing with the Pagosa Stars are getting ready to strap on their dancing shoes and prepare for their night on the dance floor.
They will be matched with a talented coach who will lead them through this performance of a lifetime to support Pagosa Springs’ Seeds of Learning. Three of these fabulous stars are Gustavo Palma, Tim Wightman and Josh Butcher.
Gustavo Palma is 25 years old and is a local actor, teacher and entrepreneur. He grew up in Pagosa since he was 4 and has had a life full of adventure. From Miami to LA, Puerto Rico and Nepal, Gustavo has made the most of his life so far and continues to push his comfort zone in all aspects. He spent five years in college studying the fine arts of theater and music, performed in New York City at the Lincoln Center and Birdland Jazz Club, and summited a 20,000-foot mountain in the Himalayas and wrote a play about it.
Now, he spends his days teaching our youth at Pagosa Springs Middle School teaching drama and English language arts, and was just hired as the social studies teacher for next school year. If that wasn’t enough, he also started his own company with his best friend.
Palma would like to thank everyone for taking the future of our youth so seriously and for supporting Seeds of Learning in their commitment to our young ones.
Wightman was born in Ohio and is one of five children. There were four boys and one girl. They moved to a small town in east Texas when he was a freshman in high school. He loved to play football, which enabled him to quickly make new friends. He also joined the Future Farmers of America (FFA) and his project was raising black Angus cattle. With the FFA seed, he and his dad built an Angus ranch that taught him and his siblings all about hard work. After high school, Wightman played college football and graduated with a bachelor’s in computer science. His professional career was rooted in information technology across many different industries.
Wightman and his wife, Linda, bought their forever retirement home in Pagosa Springs in August 2017 and moved here permanently in August 2022. Wightman recently retired from the corporate world and will enjoy spending quality time with his wife, Linda, with church, golfing, hiking, photography, hunting, fishing and just hanging out with friends.
He has a passion for helping others, giving back and building a stronger tomorrow. As part of giving back, it is his honor and privilege to stand with the children and staff at Seeds of Learning.
Josh Butcher made Pagosa Springs his home in 2011. In 2014, he chose to serve his community as a member of the Pagosa Fire Protection District as a volunteer. In 2019, he became a full-time career member of the fire district and now functions as his shifts’ driver operator. Butcher is excited and proud to be joining his beautiful wife and six-year coach of Dancing with the Pagosa Stars, Ashley Butcher, for this year’s event. Not only is Butcher grateful for this opportunity to directly support Seeds of Learning, but he also looks forward to continuing to work for the Pagosa Springs community, Archuleta County and its neighbors.
These three male stars will be joined with three more female stars to compete for the coveted Mirror Ball Trophy. Next week, we will highlight the amazing women. You can now go to the Seed’s website at dwtps.org to learn more about all the stars and their coaches and vote for your favorites.
Voting is now open. Start voting online today at vote.dwtps.org. Each $1 vote moves a star closer to winning the fabulous trophy and bragging rights for the next year. You can vote for as many stars as you would like as many times as you want. But, more importantly, all the proceeds go to sustaining Seeds of Learning’s tuition mission to provide affordable, high-quality early childhood education in Pagosa Springs.
All tickets include voting for your favorite star, a buffet dinner of fall-off-the-bone, slow-cooked short ribs served by our fine dining restaurant, a fabulous show which is sure to entertain and open dancing with the Tim Sullivan Band playing during voting.
Ticket sales will open to the public at 9 a.m. on July 13. Watch our website and DWTPS Facebook page at facebook.com/Dancingstarspagosa/ for specific instructions on ticket purchase.
Seeds of Learning is a nonprofit standalone preschool serving approximately 58 preschoolers year-round, ages 2.5 to 5 years old. The critical proceeds from this event are what make a sliding scale tuition possible for the families in our community. Please help support the most vulnerable population in Pagosa Springs — our children.