MASS School Board of the Year Award

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 of the Year may be submitted by any Montana Superintendent of Schools.  A committee reviews the applications and selects up to two (2) Outstanding School Boards in Montana.  
 

2020 Award Recipients

School boards from St. Ignatius and Lockwood were recognized as recipients of the Montana Association of School Superintendent (MASS) Honor School Boards of the Year at the annual School Administrators of Montana (SAM) Business Meeting on October 14, 2020.  The award honors the dedicated and ethical service rendered by school boards to the children of Montana and recognizes accomplishments of school boards in the areas of board policy, infrastructure for learning and teaching, and innovative educational programs.  MASS selects two outstanding school boards annually that represent excellence in these areas.

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The Lockwood School District Board of Trustees was nominated for the MASS Honor Schoool Board of the Year Award by the district superintendent, Mr. Tobin Novasio.  In his nomination letter, Mr. Novasio stated that the Trustees were very engaged as they prepared to open Lockwood High School.  In anticipation of enrolling their first class of high school students last fall, they updated and revised all of the policies to reflect the needs of a K-12 system rather than an Independent Elementary.    The uniqueness of opening the first high school in their community also required them to create and adopt additional guiding documents including a High School Student Handbook and an Activities Handbook.  The Lockwood Trustees were able to garner the support of their community t overwhelmingly pass a $49.9 million bond. 

Lockwood Trustees are also involved in efforts to improve education for students statewide.  Prior to the last legislative session, work done in Lockwood started the process which resulted in House Bill 247 being signed into law.  This bill provides greater flexibility for school districts in financing major maintenance to address facilities needs. The Lockwood School District Board of Trustees recently received the MTSBA Golden Gavel Award for an unprecedented 30th consecutive year.

Members of the Lockwood School District Board of Trustees include Tim Sather (Chair), Pamela Ask (Vice-Chair), Joe Borgstrom, Robert Keehn, Scott Kiekover, Sylvia Noble, and Kather Pfau.  Mr. Novasio stated that he would also like Janna Lind to be recognized with this award since she served as a Trustee when the board was working on many of the recent achievements. 

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 St. Ignatius School District superintendent, Mr. Jason Sargent, stated in his nomination letter that the St. Ignatius Board of Trustees has overcome great obstacles but have continued to diligently move forward with success.  He nominated the board for their countless hours of planning great systems, facilities, transportation, calendar, extracurricular, and professional training for the St. Ignatius School District. 

In 2013, the graduation rate at St. Ignatius Schools was 77%.  The Board of Trustees has successfully worked to implement programs to help increase the graduation rate and in 2019-20 94% of St. Ignatius high school seniors graduated.  St. Ignatius School District was the first school in Montana to reach the Montana Behavior Institute’s Platinum status.  The Board of Trustees has also focused on implementing systems of success that include safe and welcoming communication with parents and community members, providing students with a sense of belonging and cultural awareness, and supporting academic and behavioral initiatives. 

Members of the St. Ignatius Board of Trustees include Peter Matt (Chair), Jeff Evans (Vice-Chair), Stan Delaney, Mary Leishman, and J.P. Thomas.