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UMW alum receives prestigious teaching award.

April 6, 2016

The award is given to principals who set high standards for instruction, student achievement and character.

“I believe that good principals are good teachers, because to be a good administrator in education you have to have an instructional mindset,” Goodman said.

This is the second year in a row that a Montana Western graduate has been named NDP of Montana by the National Association of Elementary School Principals. The other recipient was Aaron Griffin who is principal of Frenchtown Elementary School in Frenchtown, Mont.

Goodman was surprised with the award after his superintendent and other educators in Lincoln County, Mont., secretly filled out the paper work to nominate him for the award. Because of his nomination Goodman will go to Washington D.C. in October for the national conference where recognized principals from every state in the country will attend.

Goodman graduated from Western Montana College in 1993, now the University of Montana Western.

Goodman was first attracted to UMW because of the beauty of the area and the abundant hunting and fishing opportunities. He transferred because of the thoughtful and passionate faculty who took the teaching process seriously.

“At Montana Western I had faculty who made us think like teachers, taught us professionalism and collaborative work ethic,” Goodman said. “I learned strategies and had hands-on experience running a classroom which prepared me for the real world.”

Goodman has been principal of Libby elementary for the past 12 years and during his time there he has made a tremendous impact on the quality of instruction and education. He works with three of his former classmates from UMW who teach preschool, kindergarten and sixth grade.

In 2012 Goodman implemented the Striving Reading program which is a competitive grant that works with the school to enhance instruction. Through the grant a national expert consultant comes four days a month to work with faculty to improve the school.

“There is no other occupation like teaching. I can’t imagine doing anything else that touches so many lives and is as fulfilling and as meaningful as being a teacher,” Goodman said. “As a teacher I have the opportunity to change destinies and futures through my interactions with children and families.”