HELENA – The 28th Annual Montana Statehood Centennial Bell Award honoring the Montana History Teacher of the Year was held at the Capitol Rotunda on Wednesday.
Jodi Delaney of Helena was honored with the prestigious award.
Delaney is a Montessori teacher for fourth and fifth grade at Broadwater Elementary School in Helena.
At 10:40 a.m. Delaney joined her students in striking the Centennial Bell, the same time President Benjamin Harrison admitted Montana into the union by proclamation. Wednesday marks Montana’s 128th birthday.
The students dressed in period costumes for the event and sang the Montana state song and state ballad to the occasion.
Delaney told MTN News that she still can’t believe she was chosen for the award.
“I am just extremely humbled an honored that people would actually want to get in a whole group to celebrate me,” said Delaney. “And that is very difficult for my ego to take a lot of compliments so I [want to] thank everybody. “
Delaney also received a plaque at $2,750 from the Montana Television Network, the Montana History Foundation and the Sons and Daughters of Montana Pioneers.
The money can be used to purchase anything that will enhance Montana History in her classroom.
The Principal of Broadwater Elementary Susan Sweeney said that that Delaney’s teaching method is innovative, engaging, high energy and rigorous.
During the school year Delaney oftentimes dresses as if she lives during the era that she’s teaching. She dressed as Jeannette Rankin for Wednesday’s event.
One of Delaney’s students, Tea Woodland, said “I absolutely love the way we learn about her ladies and the history of our country.”