Longtime Arlee High School science teacher Bill Stockton has been named Montana Teacher of the Year and will represent the state in this year’s National Teacher of the Year competition.
The award was announced on Tuesday morning during a ceremony at the school.
“I am proud to announce that Arlee High School science teacher Bill Stockton is Montana Teacher of the Year 2022,” said Elsie Arntzen, State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tuesday. “Bill is an example of the kind of teacher that all educators want to be. He not only awakened a passion for the natural sciences in his students, but also transferred this enthusiasm to all of the student teachers he oversees. It’s easy to see why Bill was unanimously chosen to represent Montana; I wish him all the best in the National Teacher of the Year competition. “
Stockton was one of the four finalists for the State Prize, along with Steffani Grogan from Forsyth, Christina Pavlovich from Livingston and Brianna Saltenberger from Anaconda.
The selection committee consisted of representatives from the Office of Public Instruction, the Governor’s Office, the Governor’s Office of Indian Affairs, educational attorneys, the Montana Business Community, the Montana Legislature and 2020 Teacher of the Year Kristi Borge of Polaris.
“I am very honored to be named Teacher of the Year 2022. There have been many great teachers who have influenced my life and I owe them this award, ”Stockton said on Tuesday.
Nominations for the award can be made by anyone, and Arlee High School principal Corey Beckham said Monday that he wasn’t sure who nominated Stockton, but it came as no surprise.
“Bill’s the type of guy who’s always trying to do what is best for the kids,” Beckham said. “If something doesn’t make sense, he asks great questions and is always concerned about the well-being of the students.”
Stockton, an Idaho native, is a 14th year and 12th year of Arlee High School. He teaches various science classes including AP Biology, Physics, Anatomy, Wildlife Biology, Chemistry, and Principles of Health Sciences.
Stockton earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Montana and a master’s degree in science education from Montana State University. He received the Teresa Veltkamp Advocacy Award 2020 for excellence in Indian Education for All.
“He’s an ex-coach,” said Beckham, “so he’s not afraid to give his opinion if it needs to be heard. He’s a teacher who is a leader and he’s not afraid to ask difficult questions. He is always ready to improve and learn and listen. He is ready to accept feedback and grow with it. “
“I’ve known Mr. Stockton for seven years in a variety of roles,” said Mike Perry, superintendent of the Arlee School District. “Bill deserves this recognition so much because he is a role model in the role of an effective teacher for staff and students. Mr. Stockton is constantly striving to improve his own learning so that he can change his teaching methods to meet the needs of the students in his classroom. He also supports students in their endeavors outside of the classroom, allowing him to cultivate sincere and lively relationships that enhance learning in his classroom. Students in Mr. Stockton’s classes know that he has high expectations, maintains high standards, and takes care of each and every one of them. At Arlee Schools, we are so proud and grateful that Mr. Stockton has chosen to use his talents here in our district. “