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Spring 2009

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Alumni Notes

Photo of Ruth SummerfeldRuth Sommerfeld, (’69 M Ed), passed away in Oct. 2008 at the age of 92.  Ruth, a long time Bozeman elementary teacher, believed strongly in education and established the Sommerfeld Teacher of Promise Award, which is awarded yearly to an outstanding elementary education student.

Meik Skoss
, (’87 MS in PE), lived in Japan for 20 years as a writer/editor and trained in classical martial arts. He and his wife presently run a small publishing company in New Jersey devoted to classical martial arts and also teach those disciplines to groups of interested people.

Greta Gay Mathis, (‘51 Home Ec), and Bob Mathis, (’93 Hon Doc), received MSU Alumni Association’s highest award, the Blue & Gold Award for 2008.  Greta and Bob founded Eagle Mount, a non-profit organization in Montana that improves lives of people with disabilities. Greta worked for many years in the area of education and Bob had a long, distinguished career with the US Air Force.  Read more at:

Photo of Bob and Greta Mathis.
Bob and Greta Mathis.

This past spring, Monforton School, Gallatin County, Mont., was awarded the prestigious Spirit of Service Award by the Corporation for National and Community Service.  The award is one of only three given each year and more than 1,000 schools apply.  Lynn Scalia (’01 M Ed) is the superintendent/principal of Monforton School.

Photo of Cathy HeidnerCathy Heidner,
('08 Sec Ed Soc Studies & ModernLang/ German), has received a Fulbright grant to teach English in Germany for 2008-2009. Heidner will spend 10 months as a teacher’s assistant in Saxony, a German state.  Read more at:

This past year, Karl Schwartz, (’03 Tech Ed), was recognized by Billings Business as one of the “40 Under 40,” a group of young business leaders in Billings. Schwartz runs his own web design business, Toasty Designs, and also teaches at the Billings Career Center.

Kent Kultgen, (’01 M Ed), superintendent in Stevensville, Mont., was awarded the School/Community Award at the Montana Council of Educational Leadership (MCEL) in Billings in October 2008.

Photo of Diane Cashell and Brian Ayers and Kirk Miller.
Brian Ayers, Diane Cashell and Dr. Kirk Miller, all MSU alumni, at the dedication of the new middle school in Bozeman.

Two MSU alumni currently serve as building administrators for the newly opened Chief Joseph Middle School in Bozeman, Mont. Principal Diane Cashell (BS El Ed; MS Curr & Instruction) and assistant principal Brian Ayers (MS Ed Leadership) lead the transition from the old Chief Joseph building to the new facilities this past summer and fall.  The building houses 532 students in grades six through eight.


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