The Glasgow Courier - Serving Proudly As The Voice Of Valley County Since 1913

By Melissa Romano
Schools Count 

Inspired by Teaching

 


My childhood is filled with wonderful memories of the teachers in Helena Public Schools who inspired me to think creatively and strive to learn more, and ultimately led me back to Montana and the Helena School District as an elementary teacher and instructional coach for the last 12 years.

Today, I’m still inspired by the amazing teaching and learning that goes on in Montana’s public schools. It’s what inspired me to become your next state superintendent of public instruction.

Touring the STEM lab here in Glasgow reinforced my belief that we must protect, preserve and improve our excellent public schools if we want to continue moving our communities forward and grow Montana’s economy.

In this campaign I’ve traveled this state extensively and have met so many folks — parents and non-parents — who are proud of their public schools. In many communities across this beautiful state, the school is the heart and lifeblood. Glasgow and its Scotties are no different.

Your community came together to help fund the STEM program and helped build a new K-5 elementary school so our kids in Glasgow can grow and thrive. As your next state superintendent, I will always listen to parents and our local school boards and rely on their experience to make the best decisions for our kids. What works in Helena may be different than what works in communities like Glasgow. We must build and strengthen community partnerships across rural Montana and continue to provide our local school boards with the flexibility they need to do what is right for their students.  

As we all know, investing in our kids today creates better outcomes in the future. I believe to be prepared for the 21st century workforce, we need to have better learning environments. Many school districts are saddled with crumbling buildings. I’ll work across party aisles to make sure we find some funding to help repair our schools.

Having taught kindergarten, I’m keenly aware of how important early learning is to a student’s success, their graduation and ultimately a community’s economy. We can no longer afford to be one of only eight states not providing resources for preschool.

We must also recognize that we need to do a better job of attracting quality teachers to rural Montana and I believe that mentorships are the key to doing so. When I began my teaching career, I was fortunate enough to have some incredible mentors guide me along my path to becoming a successful teacher. My goal is to make it easier for teachers to connect with other teachers from across the state, so they too can have access to new and innovative ways to teach our children.

As your next state superintendent, my commitment to you is simple: I will always fight for our kids and make decisions in the best interest of their future. I hope I can earn your vote on November 8.

Melissa Romano, a Presidential Award-winning math & science teacher at Helena’s Four Georgians Elementary school, lives in Helena with her husband, Eric Lehman, and their four children.

 

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