Nominations are now being accepted for the 32nd annual Montana Statehood Centennial Bell Award. This year’s award will honor the Montana History Teacher of the Year for grades 4-6. Montana grade school principals, superintendents, fellow teachers or librarians from public and private schools are asked to nominate a teacher who has done an exemplary job teaching Montana history during the 2020-2021 school year.

Nominations should include the nominator’s name, school, address, phone number, and email, along with the teacher’s name, grade, school, address, phone number and email. They should be sent to award coordinator Norma Ashby Smith at The deadline for nominations is Tuesday, March 30, 2021.

Once nominated, the teacher will be asked to submit two letters of support: one from their principal, superintendent, fellow teacher or librarian, and one from a student.

They will also need to include one page detailing why they enjoy teaching Montana history, including how they adapted their teaching due to the Covid-19 lockdowns or restrictions, how they engage their students in learning, how their Montana history course recognizes cultural diversity and anything else they’d like to share about their class or methods. Nominees will receive further instructions on how to submit this material.

The winner and his or her class will be honored with a ceremony in the State Capitol on Statehood Day, Monday, November 8, 2021. The teacher will receive a plaque and a $4,000 cash prize toward library and classroom materials, field trips, speakers, and anything else that will enhance learning in the classroom.

This program is sponsored by the Montana Television Network, the Montana History Foundation and the Sons & Daughters of Montana Pioneers, in cooperation with the Montana Historical Society and 1889 Coffeehouse in Helena.

For more information, please contact Norma Ashby Smith at (406) 453-7078 or

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