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Deborah McCabe, M.Ed.

Deborah McCabe has a masters degree in Special Education and a Reading Endorsement. She has taught multiple subjects in diverse settings in public and private schools in Boston and Concord,MA, Torrington, WY, Livingston, MT, San Francisco, CA, and most recently on the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation. An Outward Bound Instructor, Deborah integrates these strategies into collegiate instruction. She is the Elementary Education coordinator and Director of our unique Rural Fridays Program.

Mary Kay Keller, M.S.


Estee Aiken, Ed.D.

Estee Aiken teaches a variety of courses in both the Early Childhood and general education programs. Her expertise teaching children from preschool through high school has come from many years teaching in public schools. Aiken's areas of research include gifted and talented education and instructional strategies, about which she has been invited to present regionally and nationally.​​  She also provides in-service trainings throughout Montana and serves on the state board for the Association of Gifted and Talented Education.

John Xanthopoulos, Ph.D.

John Xanthopoulos is actively involved in the Equestrian program as well as the Education program at Montana Western. He founded the Montana Western Equestrian Team in 2002 and is the current Head Coach.

In 1999 Xanthopoulos co-authored a book entitled “Global Education for Perspective Teachers” and is an authoritative voice on multicultural education.

Judy Ulrich, Ph.D.

Judy Ulrich was appointed by Gov. Brian Schweitzer to the Montana Arts Council. This agency of state government, similar to those in 49 other states and the National Endowment for the Arts, was established in 1967 “to develop the creative potential of all Montanans, advance education, spur economic vibrancy and revitalize communities through involvement in the arts.” Ulrich is also the faculty advisor for the Polynesian Culture Club and is active in its development.

Laura Straus, Ph.D.

Laura Straus specializes in literacy education, with an emphasis on adolescent literacy, reading engagement, and motivation to read. Straus is active in several state and national level teacher education and literacy education professional groups. Her interest in authentic assessment and experiential learning has been the focus of much of her service and leadership work on the campus of Montana Western. She loves to read, and teaching students about children’s and young adult literature is one of her favorite pursuits.

Marlene Stonelake, M.Ed.

During her graduate work, Marlene Stonelake conducted research dealing with the use of portfolios for the assessment of writing. Her work was published and presented at various seminars and most notably this research led to the implementation of the Teacher Education Program (TEP) portfolio, which is a significant part of the teacher education program at Montana Western. With a firm belief in strong communication skills, Stonelake continually researches ways to teach and assess student writing and speaking.

Kathy Shipman, M.Ed.

Along with teaching education courses at Montana Western, Kathy Shipman is a supervisor for student teachers and a member of the Dillon K-8 Parent Council. She is the program coordinator for the elementary and secondary education program partnerships between Montana Western and Montana Tech of the University of Montana-Missoula. She is also the Montana Western-Montana Tech Education Club advisor.