MISSOULA – Dedicated teachers can leave quite a lasting impact on their students, and on Thursday Missoula County Public Schools wanted to honor one of their most beloved educators.
For the past ten years, the Missoula Education Foundation has awarded the Exceptional Elementary School Educator Award to a hardworking teacher in their district.
Students and parents nominate the teachers, then the selection is made by the MEF student board, comprised of high schoolers from all across the district.
The teachers gain some recognition and also wins money to contribute to their classroom. This year the prize was $750.
The money and title were awarded this year to Lewis and Clark School’s Kathy Dungan.
She teaches a first and second multi-age class, which means she has her students for two years. She says the award is an honor. However, she feels it is also bittersweet as she will be retiring this year.
“One of the most amazing things as a teacher has been working with writers, young writers. They, children, have an amazing and brilliant hearts and they know how to express themselves in such powerful and meaningful ways that’s always just stunning to me,” said Dungan.
Since Dungan is retiring, she will decide how the money will be used to benefit Lewis and Clark School. She’s been teaching for more than 20 years and is the first repeat winner of the award.