Superintendent Arntzen Announces 2023 Montana Teacher of the Year Finalists


August 30, 2022

HELENA – Superintendent Elsie Arntzen congratulates the four finalists for the 2023 Montana Teacher of the Year award. The selected finalist will represent Montana during the 2023 National Teacher of the Year Program in Washington, D.C. Montana’s 2022 Teacher of the Year, Bill Stockton, teaches science at Arlee High School.

A record number of 57 teachers from across the state were nominated by community members, teachers, administrators, and parents. Of those nominated, 16 teachers applied to be the 2023 Teacher of the Year. The nominees represented 20 counties from all across Montana, teaching students from preschool through high school in every subject including band and choir.

All four finalists received their bachelor’s degrees from the Montana University System and have between 9 and 26 years of classroom experience. The finalists are:

  • Shelia Devins, a Kindergarten teacher at Seeley Lake Elementary School
  • Kris Gulman, a 6-8 grade English Language Arts, Social Studies, and Geography teacher at Hamilton Middle School
  • Catherine Matthews, a Special Education Preschool teacher at Hyalite Elementary School
  • Jake Warner, a high school Math and Robotics teacher at Capital High School

“These four teachers represent the uniqueness of our Montana schools and were chosen for their leadership in and out of the classroom,” said Superintendent Elsie Arntzen. “I appreciate the continued service of our finalists to our students. Now more than ever every classroom deserves a high-quality teacher. Your dedication to putting our Montana students first is appreciated by all.”

The National Teacher of the Year Program provides professional learning and development to increase teachers’ leadership skills. The program focuses on bringing attention to the importance of excellence in teaching.

On September 6, 2022, a committee will meet to choose the 2023 Montana Teacher of the Year. Superintendent Arntzen will announce and honor the finalist during a celebration ceremony at their school. The committee to choose a finalist will be represented by the Governor’s Office, the Board of Public Education, the Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education, the Office of Public Instruction, the School Administrators of Montana, the Montana Advisory Council on Indian Education (MACIE), and Bill Stockton.

Visit OPI’s website for more information about the Montana Teacher of the Year Program:


Meet the 2023 Montana Teacher of the Year Finalists

Shelia Devins

Seeley Lake, Montana

Shelia Devins of Seeley Lake, MT

Kris Gulman

Hamilton, Montana

Kris Gulman of Hamilton, MT

Catherine Matthews

Bozeman, Montana

Catherine Matthews of Forsyth, MT

Jake Warner

Helena, Montana

Jake Warner of Helena, MT