UM Alumni Honored at Montana Educational Leadership Conference

October 23, 2014

MISSOULA – Four University of Montana alumni were recognized for their professional accomplishments and educational contributions earlier this month at the Montana Conference of Educational Leadership. 

The UM Phyllis J. Washington College of Education and Human Sciences’ Department of Educational Leadership awarded Superintendent of Great Falls Public Schools and UM alumna Tammy Lacey with the annual Educational Leadership Excellence Award. Additionally, three Montana school associations honored UM alumni with awards. Award recipients are Bruce Whitehead, Mike Magone and Glen Johnson. 

Lacey earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from UM in 1985, upon which she returned to her hometown of Great Falls to teach first and third grades. After five years in the classroom, she was selected as the district’s first-ever Teacher on Special Assignment. During that time, she completed her UM master’s degree in educational leadership. 

Fairfield Public Schools hired Lacey as their K-8 principal. As a result of her efforts in furthering technology and academic achievement in Fairfield, she was selected as Montana’s Principal of the Year by the Montana Association of Elementary and Middle School Principals.

After eight years serving Fairfield Public Schools, she returned to Great Falls as the principal of Loy Elementary. She completed the superintendent’s endorsement at UM, and in 1997 she was appointed director of human resources for Great Falls Public Schools and then went on to be appointed superintendent. 

Whitehead of Missoula was awarded the G.V. Erickson Award. This award is given to a member of the School Administrators of Montana. According to SAM, this award is given to an administrator “who has made the greatest contribution to the betterment of education in Montana; this is the most honored award a school administrator of Montana can receive.” Whitehead is the author of several textbooks, an educational consultant and an award-winning principal. He now is retired. Whitehead earned his doctorate from UM in 1980.  

The Montana Association of School Superintendents named Magone Superintendent of the Year. Magone of Lolo has served in public education for nearly 30 years. He earned both doctoral and law degrees at the UM. According to MASS, the award “seeks to honor those strong Montana school district leaders who work successfully with their entire learning communities to provide the highest quality education that is possible.” 

The Montana School Boards Association recognized Johnson, Dillon Elementary School district superintendent, with the prestigious MTSBA School and Community Service Award. MTSBA selected Johnson based on his nominations from both school officials and community members, who cited his leadership and positivity as worthy of the award. Johnson earned his master’s and doctoral degrees from UM in educational leadership. 

For more information on the awardees call Sarah Knobel, UM Educational Leadership program coordinator, at 406-243-5586 or email


Contact: Sarah Knobel, UM Educational Leadership program coordinator, 406-243-5586,