The Office of Public Instruction Will Lead the Teacher of the Year Selection

August 24, 2017 

HELENA—State Superintendent Elsie Arntzen announced that the Office of Public Instruction will be administering the selection process and program for the Montana Teacher of the Year.  For the past 22 years, this program has been conducted by the Montana Professional Teaching Foundation and the MEA-MFT.

The National Teacher of the Year Program is a project of the Council of Chief State School Officers, the professional membership organization to which all state superintendents belong.  Across the country, 46 states house this important recognition program within the state education agency.  The OPI will work directly with CCSSO and our Montana education partners to determine best-practices in order to oversee a program that further recognizes the excellence of teachers and honors local Montana school districts.

“We intend to elevate the position of the Montana Teacher of the Year, give them a direct line to the State Superintendent, and provide this individual with the ability to enhance teacher recruitment and retention in Montana,” Arntzen said Wednesday.  “We want to honor the Montana Professional Teaching Foundation and thank them for their work these past 22 years. As a teacher of 23 years, I feel strongly that this important program should be housed at the lead state education agency.”

The CCSSO website states, “The National Teacher of the Year Program began in 1952 and continues as the oldest, most prestigious national program that focuses public attention on excellence in teaching.”  Teachers selected from each state are able to participate in a year of professional development and learning including attendance at several national conferences.

“We are excited to start developing a rigorous selection process to celebrate teachers in Montana, in particular, starting with the 2019 Montana Teacher of the Year,” Arntzen concluded.



CONTACT:   Dylan Klapmeier

                         Media Assistant, Montana Office of Public Instruction