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By Andi Bourne

Ovando teacher receives KECI Gold Star Teaching Award


November 1, 2018

Photo provided

Ovando School pre-kindergarten through third grade teacher Andrea Tougas with her children Ava and Brekken.

OVANDO – Ovando teacher Andrea Tougas received the KECI Gold Star Teaching Award this past September. Tougas is thankful to the Ovando School and the community for allowing her to do what she loves to do in such a wonderful place.

Tougas's lifelong dream was to become a teacher. Her mother was a teacher and she loved working with children. She taught preschool for a while and then attended the University of Montana to get her teaching degree. She taught third grade in Missoula for three years prior to teaching in Ovando. She has taught in the "little room" including pre-kindergarten through fourth grade for five years. This year she is teaching pre-K through third grade.

Tougas said her favorite part of job is the support of the Ovando community and the parents.

"I don't have to miss opportunities that could really benefit the students because of district policy, budgeting or logistics," said Tougas. "In Ovando we have an extremely supportive community and supportive school board that places learning above all else."

Tougas loves the contagious enthusiasm of her students. She also hopes to teach them they are valuable members of the community and have something to contribute.

Sawyer Hessler nominated Tougas for the Gold Star award at the beginning of the school year.

Hessler said in the KECI Gold Star feature that "Miss T is really patient and creative with everything she does. She makes everything sound fun even if you aren't looking forward to it."

Her other students added that she has taught them perseverance, is patient and is a lot of fun.

"It was really exciting and really touching," said Tougas. "As a teacher you always want to make a difference in your students' lives. When something like this happens you know you have reached at least one person and made a difference."


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