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One local school and two people closely tied to education were honored with awards at the Montana State University Billings College of Education convocation ceremony on May 3.

Newman Elementary School in Billings was honored for its partnership with the college while Linda Vrooman Peterson and Mary Susan Fishbaugh were recognized for their lifetime achievements in education.

The Partners in Excellence Award is presented in recognition of outstanding service and contributions to the COE. The award has been presented since 1999.

For the 2018-2019 school year, the award was presented to Newman Elementary School for its partnership with pre-service teachers from the COE. Students from MSU Billings were able to interact with children, teachers and the principal from Newman during the last two years.

Mary Susan Fishbaugh, Dean of the COE, presented the first Benedict J. Surwill Lifetime Achievement Award. This award honors individuals for their lifetime of achievements in education and is named for Dean Emeritus, Benedict J. Surwill, who served as the dean of the College of Education from 1968 to 1989. Fishbaugh presented the award to Linda Vrooman Peterson for her service with the Montana Office of Public Instruction.

Following her presentation of Vrooman Peterson’s award, Fishbaugh was honored with the Benedict J. Surwill Lifetime Achievement Award as well.

Fishbaugh has been an educator for 50 years. She has been a part of the COE since 1990, serving as the director of student teaching, professor of special education, department chair and as the first female dean of the College of Education.

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