Boyne Excellence in Education Award Exp & s Reach

BIG SKY, Mont. - After nearly two decades on the job, Big Sky Resort General Manager Taylor Middleton understands how powerfully motivating a Season's Ski Pass can be, having recruited thousands of employees annually who value this fun employee benefit.

So when Middleton started thinking about rewarding the many good teachers in the Big Sky School District, a Season's Pass was an obvious choice. In 2010 the Boyne Excellence in Education Award was created for teachers who go "above and beyond" in hours spent tutoring and working with children in the core academic disciplines of language arts, science and math.

This year, both Paul Swenson, high school science and math teacher, and Dave Neal, fifth grade teacher won the award by meeting its core requirements: 40 hours or more of helping kids outside of school hours, with demonstrable improvement in at least one child's scores or grades.

In addition, Sandy Wilson, fifth/sixth grade teacher at Anderson school, won the award for her exceptional tutoring programs and innovative teaching. "We decided we wanted to expand the opportunity to other teachers," says Boyne Excellence in Education Award committee chair, Barb Rooney. Like Swenson and Neal, Wilson will receive either a ski or golf pass from Big Sky Resort.

"Our intention is to get as many local teachers as we can participating," says Rooney. "We may also expand it beyond Anderson and the Big Sky School District in order to achieve this."

Currently, the award goes to as many teachers as qualify in the Big Sky School District, and up to three teachers in the Anderson district.