Moving Forward, Leading the Way!



The Teacher Leadership Institute (TLI) program is designed to for educators that want to ready themselves for a more significant role in shaping their profession through pathways in policy change, strengthening their union associations, and instructional excellence.

MFPE’s TLI is a partnership with the National Education Association (NEA) designed to make leadership accessible to educators with busy schedules. Learning occurs through face to face, virtual sessions, and module work with collaboration with TLI coaches, and MFPE staff.


Program Curriculum Overview
Teacher Leadership Institute is a cohort based learning experience consisting of:

  • Competency-based curriculum;
  • A self-selected capstone project based on needs assessment;
  • Community collaboration;
  • Extensive coaching and support; and
  • Evidence-based portfolio documenting growth in the Teacher Leadership Competencies.



TLI 2024 - 2025 COHORT DATES  tentative schedule below

TLI Launch Face to Face meeting #1                July 16, 2024


• MFPE awards 60 OPI Professional Development units for completion of all TLI virtual meeting, modules and capstone.
• OPI Professional Development units rewarded for Face to Face meetings.
• NEA stipend awarded for program completion including capstone review.


TLI is designed for educators beyond the fifth year of teaching who are current MFPE members seeking ways to hone leadership skills through meaningful projects.

Application Deadline: May 20, 2024

More About TLI

Our TLI Coaches

Gia LaForge, Bozeman

Gia LaForge has been a first-grade teacher in Bozeman for 13 years. She has a master’s degree in Differentiated Instruction, earned National Board Certification, was a finalist for the Presidential Award for Teaching Math, and is a coach for Teacher Leadership Institute. She is passionate about helping other educators achieve results both inside and outside the walls of their classrooms.




Teresa Marchant, Billings

Teresa Marchant a Teacher Librarian at Lockwood School in Billings, Montana. She has been an educator for 24 years. She holds a Masters in Educational Technology with an emphasis in Online Instruction from Montana State University as well as a certificate in School Library Media from the University of Washington. She loves learning and enjoys helping others which makes her an awesome school librarian.


Explore some of the Teacher Leadership Institute Competencies.

NEA Teacher Leadership Competencies


For additional questions contact Kim Popham at [email protected].


2023-24 Cohort

TLI 2023 - 2024 COHORT DATES  tentative schedule below

TLI Launch meeting #1                July 13, 2023

TLI all day virtual meeting            November 18, 2023

TLI  meeting #3                               July 17, 2024

Capstones will be due                     July 26, 2024

Module (Zoom) dates:

Module 2                                          August 8, 2023 6pm

Module 3                                        October 10, 2023 6pm

Module 5                                         January 9, 2024 6pm

Module 6                                          February 6, 2024 6pm

Module 7                                          April 9, 2024 6pm


• MFPE awards 60 OPI Professional Development units for completion of all TLI virtual meeting, modules and capstone.
• OPI Professional Development units rewarded for Face to Face meetings.
• NEA stipend awarded for program completion including capstone review.


TLI is designed for educators beyond the fifth year of teaching who are current MFPE members seeking ways to hone leadership skills through meaningful projects.

Past Capstones

Explore some of the past Teacher Leadership Institute capstone projects. To view past capstone projects click on the blue titles.


Erna Gallagher - Whitter Elementary School, Butte                           Pathway: Instructional - Collaborative Relationships

Becky Croghan - Saddle Peak Elementary, Belgrade                          Pathway: Association - Organizing and Advocacy

Jen Hossack - Washington Middle School, Missoula                          Pathway: Policy - Advocacy

Katie Miller - Dillon Middle School, Dillon                                           Pathway: Instructional - Community 

Heather Nolan - Lockwood Primary School, Billings                         Pathway: Instructional - Collaborative Relationships

Janae Welch - Riverside Middle School, Billings                                 Pathway: Instructional - Coaching and Mentoring

Mercedes Courchesne-Stedman - Russell Elementary, Missoula    Pathway: Instructional - Coaching and Mentoring 


Alice Asleson, Billings Senior HS, Billings      Capstone Pathway: Association: Organizational Effectiveness-Developing


Elizabeth Cummings, Kalispell Middle School, Kalispell    Capstone Pathway: Policy Engagement and Relationships


Francy Moll, K. William Harvey, Ronan-Pablo        Capstone Pathway: Instructional: Facilitating Collaborative Relationships


Hannah Fender, Medicine Crow Middle School, Billings     Capstone Pathway: Instructional Coaching and Mentoring-Emerging


Jessica Sullivan, East Side Intermediate School, Livingston      Capstone Pathway: Instructional Coaching and Mentoring


Jordan Krause, Chief Charlo Elementary, Missoula      Capstone Pathway: Policy-Advocacy


Kate Eisele, Lone Peak High School, West Yellowstone   Capstone Pathway: Association-Organizational Effectiveness


Kelly Silk, Whitter Elementary School, Great Falls    Capstone Pathway: Instructional Coaching and Mentoring


Logan Brower, Jefferson High School, Boulder    Capstone Pathway: Association- Building Capacity in Others


Marielle Walker, Lone Peak High School, Big Sky   Capstone Pathway: Instructional Leadership, Coaching & Mentoring


Mary Anne McMahon, Jefferson High School, Boulder    Capstone Pathway: Association: Organizational Effectiveness-Emerging


Brenna Stefanik   Jim Darcy Elementary School, Helena           Pathway: Instructional


Chad Jackson    Ponderosa Elementary School, Billings              Pathway: Instructional


Debbie Tucker   Castle Rock Middle School, Billings                    Pathway: Instructional


Denise Rutledge   Montana School for the Deaf and Blind, Great Falls         Pathway: Instructional


Erin Sutherland-Evans  Highland Elementary, Billings          Pathway: Instructional


Jennifer Wasson   Montana School of Deaf and Blind, Great Falls  Pathway: Instructional


Jenny Molloy   Russell Elementary, Missoula                             Pathway: Policy


Jessica Davis  Ronan Middle School, Ronan                               Pathway: Association


Julie Smiley  Frenchtown Intermediate School, Frenchtown Pathway: Instructional


Keaton Ramm  Park High School, Livingston                           Pathway: Instructional


Keyleigh Hennessy  Bitterroot Elementary School, Billings     Pathway: Instructional


Kim Popham  Belgrade High School, Belgrade                             Pathway: Instructional


Becky Ayler  Park High School, Livingston                                    Pathway: Instructional


Severena Samuelson  Four Georgians Elementary, Helena    Pathway: Instructional


Shelby Murphy  Lone Rock Elementary School, Lone Rock     Pathway: Policy


Teresa De Armas  Morning Star, Bozeman                                 Pathway: Instructional


Amanda Rapstad, Heck-Quaw Elementary, Belgrade  Capstone Pathway: Instructional


Calli Nicholson, Lincoln Center, Billings  Capstone Pathway: Instructional


Cassie Kutzler, Rose Park Elementary, Billings  Capstone Pathway: Instructional


Christine O'Shea,  Hyalite Elementary, Bozeman  Capstone Pathway: Instructional


Cindy Gopp, Eileen Johnson Middle School, Lockwood  Capstone Pathway: Instructional Leadership


Connie Michael, Crow Agency Public School, Hardin  Capstone Pathway: Instructional


Courtney Wolcott,  Monforton Elementary, Monforton  Capstone Pathway: Instructional


Dacia Lackey, Hyalite Elementary, Bozeman  Capstone Pathway: Instructional


Hillary Gnerer, Lincoln Center, Billings  Capstone Pathway: Instructional


Hollee Goody,  Capital High School, Helena  Capstone Pathway: Instructional


Jessica Felchle,  Medicine Crow Middle School, Billings  Capstone Pathway: Instructional


Justine Alberts, Kessler Elementary, Helena  Capstone Pathway: Instructional


Kelsey Flynn, Cecelia Hazelton Elementary, Townsend  Capstone Pathway: Instructional


Laura Ortman,  Capital High School, Helena  Capstone Pathway: Instructional


Maria Foot, Capital High School, Helena  Capstone Pathway: Association


Nicholas Ottoy, Medicine Crow Middle School, Billings  Capstone Pathway: Instructional


Nora Martin, Monforton Elementary,  Monforton   Capstone Pathway: Instructional


Teresa Marchant, Lockwood Intermediate School, Lockwood  Capstone Pathway: Association Community and Culture


Angela Mock, Linderman Elementary, Polson  Capstone: Family Connections.


Chandra Lind, Chief Joseph Middle School, Bozeman  Capstone: Conference Presenter


Cynthia McBride, Chief Joseph Middle School, Bozeman  Capstone: Parent Pathways


Hannah Williams, Stevensville High School, Stevensville  Capstone:  Revamping the union through communication and collaboration


Jenny Cade, Hyalite Elementary, Bozeman  Capstone: Conscious Discipline.


Kate Belinda, Red Lodge High School, Red Lodge  Capstone: Help will always be given at RLEA to those who ask for it.


Katy Wright, Smith School, Helena  Capstone: Montessori Equity


Lauren Zent, Billings West High School, Billings  Capstone: Mentor Program


Mattie Walton, Miles Avenue School, Billings  Capstone: Engage preservice teachers in classrooms as substitutes while also providing classroom management skill-building.


Mike Telling, Beaverhead County High School, Dillon


Nikki Vradenburg, PBS  Capstone: Improving professional development for teachers in rural schools


Patricia Ritter, Longfellow School, Bozeman  Capstone: Debunking the myths surrounding education and educators through teacher biographies.


Rebecca Telling, Dillon Middle School, Dillon  Capstone: Reorganization of our union.


Sarah Piper, MFPE, Helena  Capstone: Clarity, cohesion, and communication.


Stacey Sager, Stevensville High School, Stevensville


Stephanie McBride-Bergantine, Hawthorne School, Bozeman         Capstone: Connecting Math Intervention to the classroom.


Tracy Hardy, Cold Springs School, Missoula          Capstone: Resources to encourage differentiated instruction and small group practices.



Alison Feddes, Bozeman  Capstone: Connecting our district k-5 special education teachers as an organized group.


Anna Alger, Helena  Capstone: Kindergarten Academy: Parent/Student night after Kindergarten Screening to help parents and students feel ready for school!


Ben Cummins, Missoula  Capstone: Assist teachers in my district to earn their National Board Certification.


Brooke Taylor, Billings  Capstone:  Implementation of social justice in math


Caitlin Chiller, Livingston  Capstone: Creating a professional development opportunity that will help high school English teachers in rural schools in Montana connect with one another.


Courtney Cox, Billings  Capstone: Kindergarten readiness


Deb Persons, Bozeman  Capstone: Academic Parent Teacher Teams


Georgia Holt, Gallatin Gateway  Capstone: Create a learning network for Rural Gallatin/Madison County Teachers in Montana for professional development and peer revision.


Gia LaForge, Bozeman   Capstone: Implementing Academic Parent Teacher Teams


Kathy Hoyt, Billings  Capstone:  Create a Digital Literacy Curriculum for the Middle School.


Kellen Alger, Helena  Capstone: Re-establishing a productive district wide labor management team


Kelly Hayden, Bozeman  Capstone: Teacher centered PD using Twitter to inspire and connect.


Kelly Haverlandt, Whitefish    Capstone: I will be designing an instructional tool for members to use as a guide to understand our evaluation instrument.


Kim Busch, Billings  Capstone: equality of services for students at non-Title 1 schools.


Kim Stout, Helena  Capstone: Recruiting Teachers for National Board Certification.


Laurel King, Kalispell   Capstone: Peer coaching cooperative


Lisa Pickens, Laurel  Capstone: Developing Culturally Responsive IEFA materials for my grade level


Luci McCausland, Bozeman  Capstone: Define and cultivate the role of building representatives in order to increase communication between teachers, union leaders and our district administration.


Margaret Aukshun, Billings  Capstone: Eliciting and Interpreting Student Evidence in Algebra PLC


Nicole Bogunovich, Billings  Capstone: Creating an effective technology PD model within my school


Rachel Marker, Bozeman  Capstone: Teacher-directed PD via Twitter: becoming a connected educator.


Sarah Sandau, East Helena  Capstone: Coaching/Mentoring/Collaboration in Technology.


Teresa Mountains, Billings  Capstone: Increasing member activeness, awareness and increase new members



Mary Lyndes, Missoula   Capstone: Getting funding for the Franklin Home Teacher Project


Kathleen Devlin, Missoula   Capstone: Getting funding for the Franklin Home Teacher Project


Carla Swenson, Glasgow  Capstone: To create a multi-tiered mentorship program for my district


Crista Anderson, Dixon  Capstone: Develop a digital model of professional development supporting Common Core implementation that meets the needs of systems (district leadership, principals, educators, community, and parents.)


Ann Brucker, Billings  Capstone: PR and Communication for BPS


Kelly Jones, Bozeman  Capstone: Early Childhood Advocacy in Montana


Christine Rasmussen, Bozeman  Capstone: Early Childhood Advocacy in Montana


Kate Cordes, Billings  Capstone: How Student Motivation Affects The Accuracy of Assessments


Sara Hagen Hull, Missoula   Capstone: Mentoring in Special Education


Trish Klock, Helena  Capstone: Meaningful Mentoring


Jane Shawn, Helena  Capstone: Meaningful Mentoring


Jake West, Helena  Capstone: Meaningful Mentoring


Elizabeth Matthews, Gallatin Gateway  Capstone: Creating more awareness and involvement with the Presidential Award of Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching in the State of Montana


Marne Burt, Billings  Capstone: Taking on a mentorship role in my building and assisting in various projects that improve the learning of students by empowering other teachers with  21st skills.


Tara Hirsch, Bozeman  Capstone: Growing Resilience in Young Teachers


Kristi Gaines, Bozeman Capstone: Moving Math Forward in Montana

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