Award for Teaching Excellence

The NEA Foundation Award for Teaching Excellence recognizes, rewards, and promotes both excellence in teaching and advocacy for the profession. All current members of MFPE are eligible, including teachers, education support professionals, and higher education faculty and staff.

National Board Certification Support

National Board Certification allows teachers to demonstrate the highest level of accomplishment in their profession. It is a nationally accepted sign of quality and offers a nationwide standard for evaluating and encouraging quality teaching.

Becoming National Board Certified involves an extensive series of performance-based assessments that includes teaching portfolios, student work samples, video, and analyses of the teacher's classroom teaching and student learning.

The Montana Professional Teaching Foundation helps candidates navigate the National Board Certification process. Contact Kim Popham to learn more: [email protected]

Find additional NBCT information HERE.

Karen Cox Memorial Grant Program

Every year, Montana educators raid their own bank accounts to buy classroom supplies and enrichment projects for their students.

The Montana Professional Teaching Foundation created the Karen Cox Memorial Grants to help.

Named for the late Karen Cox, one of Montana’s great teachers, these grants are not intended to replace school funds but rather to support teachers who dig into their own pockets to help their students succeed.

The grants are small ($500 maximum) but mighty. In many cases, they purchase materials schools can use for years.


Grant applications are open to MFPE members. Applications may be downloaded BELOW. The form is fillable, or you can print it to fill it out. Mail hard copy of the form to Donna Graveley, MPTF, 1232 E 6th Ave., Helena, MT 59601.

Grant applications must be received by December 2 each year.



Please consider supporting Montana’s educators and schoolchildren by making a tax-deductible contribution to the Karen Cox Memorial Grant Program. Download the donation form below. Or contact Donna Gravely for a donation form: 406-442-4250 or [email protected].


Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics & Science Teaching

The Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) are the nation's highest honors for teachers of mathematics and science (including computer science and engineering).

Awardees serve as models for their colleagues, inspiration to their communities, and leaders in the improvement of mathematics and science education.

The Montana Professional Teaching Foundation is proud to administer the award program in Montana. The program alternates each year between teachers of grades K-6 and teachers of grades 7-12.



Deadline in March 1st of every year.

Awardees Receive

  • A special citation signed by the president of the United States
  • A $10,000 NSF grant
  • A paid trip to Washington DC for two to attend special recognition events

For more information, contact Kim Popham, [email protected]



Jessica Anderson, Anaconda

Margaret Aukshun, Billings

Daniel Bartsch, Billings

Tanya Brist, Kila

Margaret Bowles, East Helena

Judy Boyle, Divide

Deanna Collins, Bozeman

Julie Dahinden, Belgrade

Julie Duford, Polson

Heather Dunn, Eureka

Kaye Ebelt, Missoula

Janet Erickson, Helena

Catherine Frazer, Absarokee

Glenn Govertsen, Missoula

Kelly Hayden, Bozeman

Justine Hurley, White Sulphur Springs

Tammy Johnson, Stevensville

William Joern, Whitefish

Lawrence Kaber, Kalispell

Anne Keith, Bozeman

Jon Konen, Great Falls

Craig Kuchel, Florence

Dacia Lackey, Bozeman

Denece Lord, Billings

Fred Longhart, Kalispell

Elizabeth Matthews, Bozeman

Janet Mader, Great Falls

Joanne Mahoney, Kalispell

Nancy Marra, Missoula

Connie Michael, Billings

Nina Miller, Billings

Pam Murnion, Helena

Courtney Niemeyer, Billings

Robyn Nuttall, Missoula

Carol Pleninger, Havre

Wendy Pierce, Bozeman

Thomas Redmon, Stevensville

Melissa Romano, Helena

Darlene Ruble, Eureka

Lisa Scott, Billings

Beth Thomas, Great Falls

Glenda Tinsley, Great Falls

Lizebeth Townsend, Helena

Carla Wambach, Helena

Colleen Windell, Lolo

Mary Wren, Great Falls

LeAnne Yenny, Bozeman




Jim McGarvey Scholarship for Union Leadership in Public Education and Service

In memory of the late Jim McGarvey, a great union leader and a forefather of the Montana Federation of Public Employees, the Montana Professional Teaching Foundation created a scholarship program in his name.

The program helps fund participation in professional development opportunities that improve quality public education and public service and union involvement and leadership.

Existing relevant opportunities include

  • Educator Conference Scholarships
  • Women’s Leadership Training
  • AFL-CIO Rocky Mountain Labor School
  • National Labor College
  • Various other MFPE, NEA, AFT, and AFL-CIO opportunities

Applications are solicited as opportunities arise.

Article II. Programs and Partnership

1) MPTF programs shall include, but are not limited to:

1. NEA Award for Teaching Excellence

2. Scholarships and Support for National Board Certification

3. Karen Cox Memorial Grants

4. Administration of Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching

5. Jim McGarvey Scholarships

2) MPTF shall partner with the Montana State Teachers of the Year (MT STOY) to provide Montana Teachers of the Year and Finalists continuing professional opportunities and  participation in MFPE sponsored professional development such as the annual Educator Conference.