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MEA-MFT SPARKS will fly!


2006 - We have seen the future of MEA-MFT, and it is in very good hands indeed.


Several of MEA-MFT's younger members came together during MEA-MFT's 2006 Summer Conference in Helena to learn more about MEA-MFT and about teaching.


But they didn't just come to learn--they came to do. During the conference, SPARKS participants volunteered at local Helena parks in a joint effort with Helena Food Share. They helped distribute lunches and children's books to over 300 low-income children.


MEA-MFT Today interviewed three of the SPARKS participants:


Rod Gottula teaches sophomore English and reading at Billings Skyview High. He chose teaching over a career in the navy and has enjoyed using his skills in reaching out to kids.


Gottula formerly taught for four years in Korea and Japan. He was part of the Japanese Exchange and Teaching Programme (JET), which teaches about American culture and the English language.


Gottula and his wife, whom he met in Japan, have two small children. He said the SPARKS experience opened new doors of camaraderie and statewide connections.


Perry Tavenner teaches Latin at Bozeman High, as one of "a small but dedicated fraternity." He's in his second year of teaching. "It's the best occupation I could possibly have except for teaching Greek," he said. (He has degrees in both Greek and Latin.)

Tavenner is a fourth generation Montanan on both sides of the family, with teachers going back in the family for generations as well. "It's my destiny," he said of teaching.


Cory Snow teaches English in Billings. "I mostly deal in grunts and whistles," he joshed. He started his second year of teaching this fall but says he felt like a seasoned veteran after the first few wild weeks. Snow and his wife both teach at Skyview High. "Same marriage, same department," he declared. He hails from Butte.


We wish the best of luck to all of the MEA-MFT SPARKS members in their careers. Thanks for being part of MEA-MFT, and thanks for doing work that matters for our Montana children!


Read about other Amazing MEA-MFT members.