Montana Digital Academy is proud of its outstanding teachers, administration, and board members. This page is dedicated to sharing all the well-deserved recognition of the adults that make this program thrive.
During Computer Science Education Week, Congressman Greg Gianforte (R-Mont.) recognized Buffy Smith of Helena for her dedication to educating Montana students and for encouraging more young people, particularly young women, to study computer science and other STEM fields.
An educator for 27 years, Buffy is breaking down barriers, paving the way for female and minority students to find their way into computer science. With her commitment to her students and her knowledge of computer science, Buffy has created an all-inclusive approach to the subject. She prioritizes encouraging students to work with others who have different views and thus enhance the outcome of a project.
NCWIT Aspirations in Computing is pleased to announce that Helena High School Computing Instructor Buffy Smith has been named the recipient of the 2019 NCWIT Aspirations in Computing (AiC) National Educator Award!
Each year, the NCWIT AiC Educator Award publicly celebrates formal and informal educators who encourage high school women’s interest and participation in technology pursuits. To date, nearly 400 educators have been honored for demonstrating an exceptionally strong, consistent, and positive involvement in supporting female students in computer science.
Buffy Smith knows firsthand how challenging it can be for interested students to access computing education when they live in a highly rural state like Montana, because it’s an obstacle she’s faced throughout her career. Buffy first fell in love with computing in high school. A college programming class convinced her to turn this passion into a career, but her college only offered a minor in Computer Science, so she paired that minor with a major in English. After seven years teaching high school English, she was told she could switch to Computer Science if she took some additional summer training. She leapt at the chance, and since then, she has not stopped expanding her knowledge, teaching herself several programming languages and taking graduate classes on Oracle and Python. She has also learned to build robots, fly drones, and use 3D printing technology, because these are topics of particular interest to her students.
2019 MASSP Principal of the Year - Joel Graves - Lincoln County High School - Eureka - MTDA Board Chair
On January 28th at the Montana Principals Conference, sponsored by the Montana Association of Secondary School Principals (MASSP) and the Montana Association of Elementary and Middle School Principals in Helena, the MASSP Principal of the Year was announced. The award recognizes outstanding leadership of active, front-line principals who have succeeded in providing exceptional learning opportunity for students.
Mr. Joel Graves, Principal at Lincoln County High School in Eureka, was selected as the recipient of the 2019 Montana Association of Secondary School Principals’ (MASSP) Principal of the Year at annual Montana Principals Conference held January 27-29 in Helena. This prestigious award recognizes outstanding school leaders who have succeeded in providing high-quality learning opportunities for students as well as demonstrating exemplary contributions to the profession.
EdReady Montana, a student math readiness initiative developed and implemented by Montana Digital Academy, is one of five 2018 recipients of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education Outstanding Work Award.
Since 2004, WICHE has presented the award to colleges, universities and organizations who implement exceptionally creative, technology based solutions to contemporary challenges in higher education.
MTDA, located at the University of Montana’s Phyllis J. Washington College of Education and Human Sciences, is Montana’s statewide K-12 online education program. Created by the Legislature in 2010, the academy provides online courses to thousands of students each year through their local public schools.
Since 2005, the annual Catalyst Awards have recognized innovation and excellence in technology within the Blackboard global community. Among several categories, staff at Blackboard reviewed how different users are engaging with their communities through education.
The Montana Digital Academy were winners of the international Blackboard Inc. Catalyst Award in the teaching and learning category this month for their implementation of a Blackboard software and their newly redesigned credit recovery program.
MTDA’s Mike Agostinelli, Robert Currie and Jason Neiffer implemented the new program in 2015, and saw an overall increase in student satisfaction.