A seventeen-year veteran of primary-level education, Betty Darr moved to a fourth-grade teaching position in the fall of 2000 at Swan River School in Bigfork. According to Mrs. Darr, teaching in a rural school has enabled her to instruct most of the same students who were once in her first-grade class, allowing her to appreciate the value of a solid early childhood education and to witness their growth firsthand. On the one-year anniversary of 9/11, Mrs. Darr's students wrote poems in honor of heroes, many of which were included in The Children's Anthology of Poetry, to be published in the fall of 2003. In addition, her fourth graders participate in many projects and presentations, including Native American research and a visit to The People's Center, a local museum, where they experience tribal crafts, games, food, and interaction with elders. Two years ago, as president of her school's local teacher association, Mrs. Darr spearheaded a successful effort to formulate a master contract for the first time in the history of the district. In 2002, she led an Assessment Learning Team for her peers in conjunction with The Assessment Learning Institute and the University of Montana. She has been a facilitator for the Montana Behavior Initiative, participates in the county-wide writing assessment committee, and continues to be active in many professional development activities in her district.
BA Pschology, SUNY New York; 5th Year Elementary Ed, University of MT Northern, MA Curriculum and Instruction/Literacy Leslie University, Administrative Endorsement, University of Montana