Texas Tech University

Ph.D. student named Montana Teacher of the Year

Robert Stein

September 9, 2019

Linda Rost

Linda Rost is working on her Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction with a concentration in STEM.

Linda Rost, a Ph.D. student in the Texas Tech University College of Education, was named Montana's 2020 Teacher of the Year.

Rost is a high school science teacher at Baker High School in Baker, Montana. At Texas Tech, she is working towards her Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction with a concentration in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Rost will go on to represent Montana in the 2020 National Teacher of the Year competition.

"Teaching is my life's passion, so this award is incredibly meaningful. I was raised by passionate educators who distilled in me an insatiable hunger for learning, and I love infecting my students with that same passion," Rost said. "I hope that a Ph.D. from Texas Tech will really challenge and develop my research skills so I can more effectively teach my research students. Upon completion, I plan to teach pre-service teachers in undergraduate programs to help mitigate our current rural teacher shortage in Montana. I am also hoping to serve a greater role in some of the statewide STEM professional development grant programs as a researcher and grant writer."

Rost is the chair of the Baker Public Schools Professional Development Committee, which she started in 2018 to focus on STEM and Indian Education for All (IEFA) K-12 collaborations and grant projects. She serves as a teacher trainer for the Montana Partnerships with Regions for Excellence in STEM (MPRES) and the Northwest Earth and Space Sciences Pipeline (NESSP) grants. She is a three-time winner of the Junior Science and Humanities Symposium Teacher Award, a two-time Continental Cares grant recipient and the 2016 National Vernier Engineering Contest winner.

Rost facilitated a successful science research program at Carter County High School in Ekalaka, Montana, from 2007 to 2014, and she started the program in Baker in 2014. In her 12-year career in education, 22 of her students have competed at national or international science competitions.

"It is an honor to appoint Linda to represent Montana in the National Teacher of the Year program," Elsie Arntzen, the superintendent of public instruction of the State of Montana, said in a news release. "Linda will serve as a teacher-leader in Montana and as a strong voice for our rural schools on the national stage. Her passion for student-centered learning along with college and career readiness will greatly benefit education in our state."