NewsPositively Montana


Ulm woman receives Community Partner in Education Award

Barbara Byrne has been a staple within the Ulm school community
Posted at 7:07 PM, Jan 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-27 21:09:15-05

ULM — Barbara Byrne has been a staple within the Ulm school community for nearly three decades. Her efforts resulted in receiving the Community Partner in Education Award, presented by the Montana Association of Secondary School Principals.

The annual award is presented to a private citizen outside of the professional educational organization who is always there to support education and youth through his/her involvement in activities or projects that truly impact the schools and communities.

“It was never for the recognition or anything like that but everyone was so nice and it does make you feel as if you are making a difference,“ said Byrne.

Byrne's extensive list of programs, donations, and fundraisers can go on and on - but a few include gifting a brand-new kitchen to serve hot lunches, creating several scholarships across the Cascade school district, purchasing laptops in the midst of the pandemic so that the kids would not fall behind for remote learning, and helping raise money to upgrade the school playground.

“It’s a small school and I can make a difference here that I might not be able to make in bigger schools,” said Byrne. “$70,000 here can make a huge difference but in bigger schools it really wouldn’t make a dent.”

Byrnes was first immersed into the Ulm school district when her youngest was in third grade; he is now 38 years old.

Long-time teacher Julie Jo Kelly has been around the school just as long as Barbara has: “I've been a teacher here for 32 years and Barb was one of my first original parents for my first classroom, and she has supported us from day one in every way she can.”