Imagine the myriad of reactions recently when the Montana Professional Teaching Foundation, aka MEA-MFT, named Melissa Romano the 2018 Teacher of the Year. Say what?!?! Melissa came closer than any other 2016 “tier b” Democratic candidate of winning her statewide race against now superintendent of public instruction Else Arntzen. Admittedly with more than a fair amount of financial support from the National Education Association and American Federation of Teachers and why not since she was the MEA-MFT heir apparent to the legacy of Nancy Keenan, Linda McCulloch, and Denise Juneau.
She is the 2012 recipient of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching, a contributor to Better Lesson where her math lessons are shared on a national platform, as well as running to represent the residents of Montana’s Senate District 41 in 2018. Considering her teaching vitae it isn’t a stretch to see why she was named Teacher of the Year by the MPTF. But dadgumit, there’s that little political tickler out there – Eric Feaver, president of MEA-MFT (aka “the teachers union”) as well as head of the Montana Professional Teaching Foundation. Uh oh! Hey Eric…you got some explaining to do!
In the right circles Eric Feaver, we’ll call him “the tickler”, is responsible for everything from the death of Christ to global warming. Not bad for a transplanted Okie who coincidently didn’t burn his draft card down at the courthouse ala Merle Haggard. Anyone who sees machinations from “the tickler” behind Melissa’s award needs to stay away from the railroad tracks because “stupid is as stupid does.” No one with any political savvy will claim this helps Melissa in her 2018 bid for the state senate or for a potential 2020 re-match with Elsie.
Yeah, there’s bad blood between Feaver (Elsie’s deplorable voting record) and Arntzen – “I’m taking back the TOY and making it great again‘ – but “the tickler” ain’t stupid. However, given the current political climate in Montana and pending Trump Armageddon, it shall be shouted from the mountains to the prairie that “the tickler” is trying to “gild his lily” in the hopes of burnishing her reputation for future political office. Is that a double entendre? Sorry Melissa!
The interesting story will be listening to the “right” Republicans hammer on Feaver, Romano, Bullock, and MEA-MFT that this is proof positive of nepotism, cronyism, and cubism within the ranks of the Democratic Party. So let’s not forget that Greg Gianforte kicked off his gubernatorial campaign by giving $8 million to Montana State University for the Gianforte School of Computing and wrapped it up with the body slam of a left leaning reporter. Now he’s Montana’s man in the House of Representatives poised with pick, shovel, and sump pump to drain the swamp. Makes Melissa’s TOY award seem rather tame. Maybe she can find a right leaning reporter to rough up…who knows “Governor” Romano?!?
What I hope doesn’t get lost in all the political scuffling is the fact that Melissa Romano is an excellent teacher and deserving of this award regardless if she has political aspirations or not. After all this is ‘Merica and it’s your right to stand or take a knee.
T-Bone Slim – “Whenever you find injustice, the proper form of politeness is attack.”