Melissa Romano

HELENA – Montana has a new teacher of the year for the 2018 year and it’s a name most of the state recognizes.

Melissa Romano has been named the top teacher by the teacher’s union, MEA-MFT. Each year, the Montana Teacher of the Year program recognizes a teacher who exemplifies the best in the teaching profession.

Currently, Romano teaches at Four Georgians Elementary in Helena.

This past year Melissa became one of 130 select teachers nationwide to share lessons on BetterLesson, a website creating a year’s worth of classroom-ready math lessons. 

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As the 2018 Montana Teacher of the Year, Romano will serve as an ambassador for public education, represent Montana in the National Teacher of the Year program and attend several national events along with the other state teachers of the year.

This is the final year MEA-MFT’s Montana Professional Teaching Foundation will run the Teacher of the Year Program. In August, Superintendent Arntzen announced the Office of Public Instruction would be taking over the program.

Romano, a democrat, previously ran for Superintendent of Public Instruction against republican candidate Elsie Arntzen, who ultimately won the 2016 election.

Arntzen said her decision came after the 2017 legislative session when she saw a way to ‘grow the program.’

“There was an opportunity with the existing program and with the MEA-MFT and the foundation that it is currently housed,” Arnzen told MTN during an interview on August 31.

President of MEA-MFT Eric Feaver told MTN in August that this announcement came as a surprise to him, and he viewed the decision as a reaction to the 2016 campaign cycle.

“Elections have consequences, and we did not support Superintendent Arntzen in her bid for the superintendency,” Feaver told MTN August 29.

The other two finalists chosen were Judith Boyle, an elementary school teacher at Divide School in Divide and Judy Vincent, a first grade teacher at Shields Valley Elementary School in Wilsall.

All three teachers will be honored at a celebration on October 19 in Missoula.

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