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History teacher honored with Montana Statehood Centennial Bell Award

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HELENA - The 28th Montana Statehood Centennial Bell Award honoring the Montana History Teacher of the Year was given to Jodi Delaney of Helena on Wednesday at the state Capitol.

Delaney is a Montessori teacher for 4th and 5th grades at Broadwater Elementary School in Helena.

Delaney joined her students in striking the Centennial Bell at 10:40 a.m., which is the same time President Benjamin Harrison admitted Montana into the union by proclamation.

The students dressed in period costumes for the event and sang the Montana state song and state ballad.

Delaney said she still can’t believe she was chosen for the award.

“I am just extremely humbled and honored that people would actually want to get in a whole group to celebrate me,” Delaney said. “And that is very difficult for my ego to take a lot of compliments, so I thank everybody. “

Delaney also received a plaque and $2,750 from the Montana Television Network, the Montana History Foundation, and the Sons & Daughters of Montana Pioneers. 

The money can be used to purchase anything that will enhance teaching Montana history in her classroom. 

According to Susan Sweeney, the principal at Broadwater Elementary School, Delaney’s teaching method is innovative, engaging, high-energy, and rigorous. 

During the school year, Delaney will sometimes dress as if she lives during the era that she’s teaching and even dressed as Jeannette Rankin for Wednesday's event.

Tea Woodland, one of Delaney’s students, said: “I absolutely love the way I learn about her ladies and the history of our country.”

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