UMW News BureauThe University of Montana Western Education Department and the UMW Foundation held an inagural event — Night of STARS — to honor education alumni and current Montana Western teacher candidates on Friday, April 20.
Night of STARS (Student Teacher Alumni Recognition) featured the presentation of a lifetime achievement award and the induction of four education alumni into the Montana Western Education Department Hall of Fame. A standout academic experience at Montana Western was also be showcased in recognition of Montana Western’s unique block scheduling program, Experience One, in which students take one class at a time.
Friday’s events were highlighted by honorary guest speaker Tara VanDerveer, the Setsuko Ishiyama Director of Women's Basketball at Stanford University and a 2011 Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame inductee.
Godfrey Saunders was presented with the 2012 Lifetime Achievement. Saunders graduated from Montana Western in 1976 with a B.S. in secondary education, majoring in biological science with a minor in social science. He also went on to earn his master’s in education from Western Montana College (now Montana Western) in 1984.
The Education Hall of Fame inductees for 2012 included Aaron Sieminski, Patty Butler, Chris Fisk and Angela McLean.
Sieminski graduated in 2005 with a B.S. in secondary education, majoring in physical education and health K-12.
Butler originally took early childhood education classes at Western Montana College in 1992 before working in the field of early childhood education for 14 years. She eventually returned to Montana Western to earn an A.A.S. degree in early childhood education in 2008 and then a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education in 2010.
Fisk earned a B.S. in secondary education, social science in 1992.
McLean earned a B.S. in secondary education, social science in 1994.
Montana Western Adjunct Professor of Fine Arts Nolan Salix received the Experience award for a water painting project during a fall 2011 course. Salix took his class on a backpacking excursion in the Pioneer Mountains and presented students with the challenges of using watercolor techniques under natural conditions.
All proceeds from Night of STARS benefited the UMW Education Department.