On Thursday, the Council of Chief State School Officers announced that Montana’s 2020 Teacher of the Year, Linda Rost, is a finalist for the National Teacher of the Year recognition. Superintendent of Public Instruction Elsie Arntzen says Rost is a unique teacher.

“She came to a very rural southeastern community as a teacher, but she didn’t really have any credentials,” Arntzen said. “She went through the process and has become a great science teacher in Baker, Montana. She is a leader in her school and in her community. We are very excited that Montana has a chance to become the National Teacher of the Year.”

Rost will be interviewed in Washington, D.C. at the end of February and one of the finalists will be named the 2020 National Teacher of the Year this spring. Rost is one of four finalists out of 55 state and territory teachers.

“She has an opportunity with Louisiana, Ohio, and Kansas, but we want Montana,” Arntzen said. “She is one of the four finalists at this time. Montana couldn’t be prouder of Linda Rost and Baker. I know that she is going to make Montana proud.”

The chosen educator will spend the next year traveling the country as an ambassador for education and an advocate for all teachers and students. The last time Montana had a finalist for National Teacher of the Year was 2011 when Paul Andersen from Bozeman High School was selected. Montana has only had one National Teacher of the Year. Richard Nelson from Kalispell earned the honor in 1956.