Staff Spotlight: Elena Butko

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EB SmallElena Butko is a Staff Attorney who has been with VARN since February of 2015. She assists with cases through the Domestic Violence Victim’s Assistance Project (DVVAP). Elena answered a few questions about herself and her work at VARN.

– What do you like most about VARN?
My co-workers. Everyone is incredibly kind, patient, and friendly, and they’ve all been incredibly helpful whenever I’ve had a question or concern.

– What is your proudest moment at VARN?
I was able to help a client get a divorce and custody without forcing her to go through a messy trial. We were able to reach a settlement agreement that was very favorable to her, and she was so grateful for all the help VARN gave her, it just really made me feel like I’d done something good, really helped someone.

– Describe what you were like at age 10.
I was hyperactive and generally running around with some random animal tucked under my arm, be it a crawdad, snake, rabbit or goat.

– People would be surprised if they knew…?
I grew up on a farm and initially entered undergrad as a wildlife ecology major. I’m basically a walking encyclopedia of animal facts.

– What is your biggest pet peeve?
When people use the wrong “there” and “your” in their writing. I feel like the public school system really failed them.

– What’s your favorite childhood memory?
I grew up near a creek, and I’d have to say some of my best memories are making forts and exploring the heavily vegetated creek bed with the neighbor children. Once, my best friend got stuck in a baby swing while our families were camping. (She was 12 years old and should have known better). I had to use a stick of butter to lube up her thighs and free her from the swing. She had a red diaper mark around the area where she was stuck, and apparently while I was fetching margin from the cabin our younger brothers were throwing bark at her. Once freed she attempted to run the boys down. I still cackle like a witch about that incident to this day.


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