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Award Recipients

The Montana Association for Adult and Community Education (MAACE) and the Mountain Plains Association of Adult Education (MPAEA) recently presented the following awards to Adult Basic and Literacy Education (ABLE) educators, students and affiliates at the MPAEA conference in Bozeman April 29-May 1.

Click on the names below for pictures of award recipients! 

Gloria Miller:  MAACE Education Leadership

Jodey Greninger:  MAACE Outstanding Adult Learner

Julie Schreck:  MAACE Community Leadership

Norene Peterson:  MPAEA Award of Merit and Terry Kelley:  MPAEA Award of Excellence

Kim Gillan:  MPAEA Legislator of the Year


MAACE Education Leadership Award (Lewistown)

This award was presented to Gloria Miller from the Lewistown Adult Basic Literacy Education Program who has provided exemplary leadership in adult education. Miller has been the lead ABE instructor at the Lewistown Adult Education Center for 12 years and was an elementary education teacher for the 26 years before that.

“Gloria has a cheerful, positive attitude and is uplifting to those around her,” said Diane Oldenburg, Lewistown Community Education director.

Miller has assisted innumerable adult learners achieve their GED, find better jobs and go on to college. She oversees instruction at the center in Lewistown and in Roundup and makes arrangements for teaching isolated students in the six counties their program serves. Miller pursues her own professional development and serves on several local and state committees for adult education as well.

MAACE is pleased to honor Gloria for many years of dedication to her program and her work with the more than 1,000 students who she has served.

MAACE Outstanding Adult Learner Award (Missoula)

This award was presented to Jodey Greninger, an exemplary student in the Missoula Adult Basic Education Program.

Greninger received her GED in December 2003 and is planning to pursue a college degree in social work. But it is her desire to help others that endured her to the Missoula instructors.

“She is truly one of the best peer role models I have seen in adult education,” said instructor Cathy Smyers. While working hard on her own classes, she told others about the program, helped fellow students study, and even called students who were absent for a few days. Several students preserved in the program due mostly to Greninger’s care for them, said Smyers. And this former high school drop-out did it all while working two jobs and raising four sons. 

“Jodey has been an invaluable asset to our program and our students,” Smyers said. “She knows how to ‘pay it forward’ and how to encourage others to do likewise.”

MAACE Community Leadership Award (Billings)

The Billings ABE program nominated the MSU-Billings Advising Center for the MAACE Community Leadership Award.

“The advising center is a supportive and user-friendly force in helping Adult Education students’ transition from secondary to post-secondary training,” said Mike Joyce, Billings ABE counselor.

As many as 10 advisors from the various departments and support services network have come to the Adult Education center to make presentations and meet one on one with adult students interested in college. They have offered outreach sessions several times during the semester to give prospective students information on accessing information and resources that will help them to prepare for entry into post-secondary training. They conduct tours, hold seminars and are always willing to meet and give campus tours to students. The university is always cordial and receptive to taking time for adult education students and does everything to make them feel welcome and invited to participate in the university. MSU-Billings is a true community partner in the education community of Billings, said Joyce. 

MAACE Outstanding Volunteer Award (Hamilton)

Julie Schreck of Hamilton received the Outstanding Volunteer Award for her faithful work with Literacy Volunteers of America Bitterroot. Schreck has volunteered for the English as Second Language classes since their inception three years ago.

 “Julie is always willing to help and serve in any way necessary,” said Bitterroot ESL instructor Rebecca Javorsky. Schreck adapts lesson plans to the needs of individual students; does one on one tutoring; and is always encouraging to the students. Most of all Javorsky appreciates her faithfulness and reliability. Javorsky said, “She makes a huge difference week after week in my classroom.”

MPAEA Award of Merit (Billings)

Norene Peterson, a 30-year veteran of Billings adult education and current president of MAACE, received MPAEA’s highest honor, the Award of Merit.

“She inspires learners to become students in the true sense of the word,” Mike Joyce, Billings ABE counselor, said. In a positive, fun and enthusiastic style, Peterson promotes learning and is a dedicated manager of the educational process. She goes above and beyond the classroom to promote lifelong learning, not only with her students but with her colleagues, added Joyce. She spends hours of her own free time training others in professional development.  Additionally, she is editor of the school newsletter, coordinator of technology, and totally involved in the work of the association (MAACE). 

Peterson has unique sensitivity to the needs of others and her ability to work with others in helping them to take responsibility for their lives, said Joyce. “I know how much Norene is respected by her colleagues, by other professionals in the community and by members of the professional organizations to which she belongs,” he said.

MPAEA Award of Excellence (Missoula)

Terry Kelley, Missoula English as a Second Language teacher, received the MPAEA Award of Excellence. Kelley has taught Missoula’s ESOL students for over twelve years and has 30 years of experience teaching ESL/EFL in the United States and around the world.

“Kelley is a living, breathing encyclopedia,” said colleague Donna Bakke. “His wealth of knowledge about language acquisition, cultural issues, and teaching techniques brings all the ABE/Even Start staff in Missoula to his door on many occasions.”

He has helped all of us learn to work with students of many diverse cultural and educational backgrounds, said Bakke. He shares his lesson plans and has designed a comprehensive ESOL curriculum that integrates text, recourse materials, audio-visual and computer assisted language-learning programs for all levels of students – beginning through post-secondary preparation.

Terry has been a guiding light for many ESOL students, Bakke added. “He is compassionate and supportive, providing his students with mentoring as well as instruction.” His classroom has provided many volunteers and interns with excellent learning opportunities and he himself is a full-time graduate student in the MsED-TESOL program at Shenandoah University.

MPAEA Legislator of the Year Award (Billings)

Kim Gillan, four-term Billings state legislator, received the MPAEA Legislator of the Year Award.

Gillan has always shown a dedication to excellence in education and a commitment to adequately funding Montana’s schools, said Mike Joyce. “She has a lifelong learning focus that sees the clear relationship between providing a good education system as the foundation for sound economic development.”

Gillan is always seeking new and better ways of serving the constituents in her district and the community in which she lives. She is a leader in the legislature and is always willing to participate in forums for education and organizations that seek her participation. 

“I am impressed,” Joyce said, “with Kim’s ability to relate to people from all walks of life and her genuine concern for everyone. She believes in people and works tirelessly to help all citizens to have equal access to the development of self-sufficiency.”