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Group Includes Bainville’s April Wills - Teacher Leaders History Program Grows

Group Includes Bainville’s April Wills

A dedicated group of Montana educators are becoming “history missionaries” as part of the Teacher Leaders in Montana History program. Fifteen teachers with a deep passion for Montana and its history, as well as social studies in general, are offering to share their expertise beyond their own classrooms as part of the Montana Historical Society program. The group will help write lesson plans, mentor teachers in best practices in history education and share Montana and Indian education-related resources with fellow educators. They’ll do this in one-on-one sessions as well as in regional and statewide conference presentations.

“We started the Teacher Leader program in 2017. Since then, Teacher Leader fellows have presented at regional conferences, worked with their district to introduce Montana history units into the curriculum, mentored new teachers, and created lesson plans,” said Outreach and Interpretation Program Manager Martha Kohl. “MTHS is committed to serving every corner of the state — and working with Teacher Leaders who live as far east as Bainville and as far west as Eureka makes that possible.”

Teacher Leader Fellows include Bainville fifth-grade teacher April Wills and Elysia Bain, who teaches high school social studies at St. Labre Indian School in Ashland. Both have participated in the program for several years.

“The opportunity to grow as an educator in the content area I am most passionate about is both rewarding and exciting,” Wills said. “Working with The Montana Historical Society as a Teacher Leader in Montana history is one of the greatest endeavors of my career. Sharing resources, ideas and lessons with educators across the state and in my own community helps not only others grow and learn, but also allows me to expand my repertoire of tools as a teacher,” Wills said. Wills was named the Centennial Bell Montana History Teacher of the Year in 2021 “Being a Teacher Leader in the Montana history program supports me in providing access to the wonderful resources that the Montana Historical Society has with other teachers,” Bain said. “I have also grown as an educator through continuing educational support and trainings.”

To learn more about the program, call 406-444-2694 or visit mhs.

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