SAM and Affiliate Awards

School Administrators of Montana and its six affiliates recognize its members and the community through a variety of awards on both the local, regional and national levels.  Nomination information and schedules are posted on each affiliate's website and distributed to the membership throughout the year.  

Current Award Opportunities: 

Nominations are now being accepted for the following awards and scholarship.  Who will you nominate to be recognized for their outstanding dedication to the education of the children in their school/district?  Please encourage aspiring administrators in your district to apply.


  • G.V. Erickson Award -  Nominations are open until Friday, September 27, 2024: The G.V. Erickson Award is given to a member of the School Administrators of Montana who has made the greatest contribution to the betterment of education in Montana; something that G.V. did throughout his career. This is the most honored award a school administrator of Montana can receive.
  • Erdie Memorial Scholarship - Applications will be accepted until Friday, September 27, 2024:  A Dr. Jay Erdie Memorial Mentor Scholarship in the amount of $1000 will be awarded annually to a deserving educator. The purpose of the scholarship is to “train and mentor” new Montana school administrators. The scholarship will be awarded to a school administration candidate who plans to begin and/or complete his/her administrative credentials and intends to work in a Montana school district. Once the candidate has secured a position and notified the SAM office, a trained mentor will be provided through the SAM Leaders Professional Learning Program to assist during his/her first year on the job.
  • MASS Outstanding School Board of the Year Award - Applications will be accepted until Friday, September 27, 2024: The purpose of the award is to recognize and focus attention on the dedicated and ethical service rendered by school boards to the children of Montana.  Nominations for the MASS School Board Awards may be submitted by any Montana Superintendent of Schools. The MASS Executive Board recommends that each of the nine regions submit a nomination. Two Outstanding School Boards in Montana will be chosen. The winners will be announced at the annual MCEL meeting in October.
  • AASA Conference Incentive Award Applications will be accepted until Friday, September 27, 2024:  The Montana Association of School Superintendents Incentive Award Program is intended to provide a special opportunity for MASS members to attend the AASA National Conference on Education (NCE) that will be held in New Orleans, March 6 - 8, 2025.
  • MASSP Assistant Principal of the Year - Applications will be accepted until Friday, October 11, 2024:  This award recognizes outstanding school leaders who have succeeded in providing high-quality learning opportunities for students.  The program honors high school assistant principals who have demonstrated excellence in the areas of personal excellence; collaborative leadership; curriculum, instruction and assessment; and personalization.  To be eligible, the nominee must be an active assistant principal and have been an active assistant principal for at least three consecutive years.


SAM Awards

MASS Awards
MASSP Awards MAEMSP Awards META Awards
MACSS Awards
MCASE Awards

2023 G.V. Erickson Award

The 2023 G.V. Erickson Award was presented to Dennis Parman
Dennis Parman G.V. Erickson Aware 3.JPG - 2.60 Mb

SAM is proud to announce the 2023 G.V. Erickson Award recipient, Mr. Dennis Parman.  Mr. Paman was awarded this distinguished honor at the annual Montana Conference of Education Leadership (MCEL) held October 18-20, 2023.   This distinguished award is given to a SAM member who has demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to the advancement and betterment of public education in Montana.  This is the most prestigious award a Montana school administrator can receive.  The award is named in honor of Mr. G.V. Erickson, a school administrator who dedicated his career and life to education and the children of Montana.    

Mr. Parman has been a driving force in education since 1981, leaving an indelible mark as a teacher, principal, superintendent, and advocate.  With a career spanning over 40 years, he has distinguished himself as a highly respected pillar of Montana public education. 

Mr. Parman's remarkable career in education, from teacher to superintendent, to his role as Deputy Superintendent at the Montana Office of Public Instruction and Executive Director of the Montana Rural Education Association, has made him one of the most influential figures in Montana's public education landscape. His ability to build relationships, inspire collaboration, and achieve tangible results underscores his immense value to the organizations he has served.

Mr. Parman is an outstanding educator with a vast understanding of school curriculum, educational opportunities, operations, policy development, child development, and the role higher education plays in preparing education leaders. While serving as the Deputy Superintendent at the OPI, Mr. Parman was instrumental in facilitating the review and modernization of accreditation standards and educator licensure.  

Mr. Parman is well known in the education community for his outstanding ability to analyze data and implement research-based strategies in compelling ways that influence action in the best interest of all students.  His ability to research and communicate state legislative and congressional actions connected to education has been outstanding and has enhanced Montana education. His leadership on both district and state levels has been instrumental in driving important initiatives forward. His commitment to public education has contributed to collaborative efforts that drive positive change.

Dr. Rob Watson, Executive Director at School Administrators of Montana (SAM), stated “Mr. Parman has a long and successful career as a Montana educator. With his varied experience, his institutional knowledge is unmatched. Mr. Parman has approached each of his roles with professionalism and kindness. We are excited to have the opportunity to honor Dennis with this award - the highest award we give at SAM.” 

The G. V. Erickson Award was presented by Sara Novak, Director of Great Divide Education Services and President of SAM.  The entire SAM membership congratulates Mr. Dennis Parman for being honored with this prestigious award, celebrating his dedicated service to public education which has left an indelible mark on Montana's education landscape.

Past G.V. Erickson Award Recipients


Milt Negus



Conrad Robertson

  2022   Doug Reisig         


C. Buzz Christiansen



John McNeil

   2023 Dave Wick 


Jim Turner



Rachel Vielleux



Cliff Harmala



Dr. Kirk Miller



Bob Souhrada



Dr. Fred Anderson



Don MacLennan



Dr. Bruce Messinger



Edith Harper



Pat Hould



Chris Mattocks



Brian Patrick



Wally Vinnedge



Leonard Orth



Paul Casey Stengel



Larry Crowder



Jacob Block



Dr. Doug Reisig



Roger Eble



Jack Copps



John Fero



Ron Whitmoyer



Dennis Kraft



Jule Walker



Vivan Scoles



Dr. Bruce Whitehead



Dr. Ernie Jean



Rick Duncan



Dr. Peter Carparelli



Dr. Rob Watson



James Wood



Tammy Lacey



Craig Brewington



Dr. Laurie Barron



Kathleen Lockyer



Dr. Darlene Schottle



Dr. J. Jay Erdie

   2020  Tobin Novasio      

About Mr. Erickson 
Mr. G. V. Erickson was born in Moorhead, Minnesota in 1911 where he attended elementary, high school and college.  G. V. graduated from Concordia College in 1934 with a major in biology and a double minor in German and physical education.  Mr. Erickson completed graduated work at the University of Montana, Montana State University, and Carroll College prior to receiving a Masters Degree in School Administration from the University of Minnesota in 1945.  At his first teaching position G. V. was a principal, coach, and a math and science instructor in New Leipzig, North Dakota for three years.  G. V. then went to Brockton as a science and math instructor and coach in 1937.  After two years he became superintendent and held that position for three years.  He then moved to Glasgow where he was a principal of the junior/senior high school.  G. V. then moved to Havre for three years as high school principal.  In 1948 G. V. moved to Helena as elementary principal of the Bryant, Lincoln, Hawthorn, and Broadwater schools. In 1955 he set up the first Helena Junior High School and was principal there through 1959.  In 1959 he moved to Montana State University in Bozeman as the Director of Student Teaching.  G. V. held this position for 10 years, and when the Department of Education became the College of Education in 1967, he became the Head of the Department of Secondary Education and Foundations.  He held this position until he retired in 1973.
Along with his regular position at MSU, G. V. was offered an additional challenge in education.  At the first meeting of the joint organization of MASA-MAESP-MASSP held in Billings in 1971, he was asked b the newly formed Executive Board to become the organization’s first executive secretary.  G. V. held this part-time position in addition to his work at Montana State University.  He was SAM’s Executive Secretary for the first six years of his existence.
Also G. V. became a life member of MEA in 1937, the NEA in 1940, the NAESP in 1953, and was also a life member of the MASSP.
The term “nice guy” was created for G. V. Erickson.  He had a great compassion for educators and students.  G. V.’s motivational speeches, which accompanied his annual report to administrators, will never be forgotten.
Mr. G. V. Erickson passed away a few short days before the annual G. V. Erickson Award was presented at the Fall Conference in 1996.


Jay Erdie Memorial Scholarship

Dr. John Jay Erdie was a Montana School Superintendent who was well known for his efforts in mentoring promising educators into becoming school administrators. He realized the value of training and retaining quality principals and superintendents.
A Dr. Jay Erdie Memorial Mentor Scholarship in the amount of $1000 will be awarded annually to a deserving educator. The purpose of the scholarship is to “train and mentor” new Montana school administrators.
The scholarship will be awarded to a school administration candidate who plans to begin and/or complete his/her administrative credentials and intends to work in a Montana school district. Once the candidate has secured a position and notified the SAM office, a trained mentor will be provided through SAM’s Mentor Program to assist during his/her first year on the job.
The award is sponsored by School Administrators of Montana, Montana Unified School Trust, and the Erdie Family.

2023 Jay Erdie Memorial Scholarship Recipient

The Dr.Jay Erdie Memorial Mentor Scholarship is co-sponsored by the Erdie family, the Montana Unified School Trust, and the School Administrators of Montana.  The award is provided to an administration candidate who plans to begin or complete their administrative credentials and intends to work in Montana.  The award is named after Dr. John Jay Erdie, who was a Montana School Superintendent well known for his efforts in mentoring promising educators to become school administrators.  Dr. Erdie’s wife, Karen Erdie is with us here today along with her daughter Jennifer Erdie Hickock and son-in-law KC, to represent the Erdie family. Please welcome Karen Erdie and Jennifer and KC Hickok. [applause]

This year’s recipient of the Jay Erdie Memorial Mentor Scholarship will receive a $ 1,000 scholarship to assist in completing their education leadership program and will participate in the SAM Leaders Professional Learning Program once they secure their first administrator position.

Ryan Hamilton is in his fourth year as a 2nd Grade Teacher at Bonner Elementary and is expecting to graduate with his educational leadership degree from the University of Montana in December.   Ryan is thankful to the many education leaders who have willingly mentored him over the years.   He would love nothing more than to give back to the Montana education community.