Pat Volkmar

Pat Volkmar, one of the educators nominated for the Montana ACTE Teacher of the Year award. Volkmar has been teaching middle school students in Great Falls for 20 years. Photo by Afiq Hisham. 

GREAT FALLS - Teachers across the Treasure State came together Thursday for a conference to, among other things, celebrate the Montana Association for Career & Technical Education’s Teacher of The Year, featuring a nomination right out of the Electric City.

Pat Volkmar has been with Great Falls Public Schools for 20 years, helping kids at the middle school level learn technical skills and finding their own career paths. In a letter, GFPS Superintendent Tom Moore gave Pat the nomination back in September for helping create entrepreneurial programs that give students hands-on experiences with running their own businesses.

Additionally, Tom praised the middle school career & technical education teacher for rallying funding and support towards career and technical education programs, while finding free time to volunteer in the community.

Pat ended up becoming a finalist in the tech field, and while he ultimately didn't win, he said his students are his drive for teaching at the end of the day.

"That's what I look forward to every day, that's why I'm a class room teacher and I haven't changed from that,” said Pat. “It's simply the desire to be in front of the classroom with kids and see those lights go on."

Outside of the yearly award, the state ACTE conference is also an opportunity for teachers, students and potential hirees alike to meet one another and learn about the latest teaching tools, technologies and jobs on the market.

The event will go on through to Friday afternoon.

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