A local organization announced the winner of its 11th Annual Educator of the Year Award.

The Missoula Education Foundation picks the winner solely based on nominations from the community.

For 20 years, Tammi Allison has been shaping the minds of students at Sentinel High School.

After two decades of hard work and dedication, Allison is being recognized as the top educator in Missoula County. She's staying humble, despite the high honor.

"In Missoula we have so many good teachers. I am just so honored to be recognized with my peers," Allison said.

Recognized, but more importantly, respected. 

Allison has taught many students over the years and many courses as well.

Right now, she teaches English at Sentinel High in a way that connects to each and every student.

"She’s just so good at her job and she just does it so well. She keeps students engaged and we're always having fun in her class and no one dislikes Ms. Allison,” said Sentinel senior Ty Whalen.

Her cheery mood and passion for learning is what gained her the honor, but it's also what sticks in the minds of students.

Teaching is more than just handing out homework, but impacting her students the future of our country.

"The best part of teaching is absolutely this time of year, when kids have gone on to college or the military or their next adventures come back to say oh you made a difference and I felt so ready," Allison said.

Here are some quotes from current and former students about Allison:

“She not only helps us learn, but is very understanding and kind. She can keep control of the class but still be very sweet. It's almost impossible not to respect her." (Student)

“She is kind and compassionate and truly wants all students to succeed. She cares about each and every single one of her students and always checks in to make sure they are doing well mentally as well as in their studies. She makes all of her students feel equal and she always has the most positive attitude even when she may be having a hard time herself." (Student)

“I was sick and she went above and beyond to make sure I stayed caught up in her class but more importantly she made sure I was okay and that I was taking time to heal properly.  She showed me such compassion.  Being an A type personality, being gone was hard and then feeling overwhelmed trying to play catch up at the end of the year almost drove me crazy.  She kept me sane and balanced.  She is one of the best, caring teachers I have ever encountered.  Thank you Ms. Allison." (Former Student)

MEF provided $175,000 in grant funding to Missoula County schools for the 2018-2019 school year. That money helps fund innovative ideas and special classroom projects.

Additionally, the foundation selects two students each year for a $1,000 scholarship.    

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