Billings, Mont. – Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau  received Montana State University Billings College of Education’s Benedict J. Surwill Lifetime Achievement award during the school’s convocation Friday evening. Surwill was MSU-Billings College of Education’s dean for 23 years. Surwill’s family established the award in his honor to recognize individuals who have made a significant impact in education.
(OPI Photo)

    “I firmly believe in the power of public education and have dedicated my career to ensuring all students have an opportunity for a successful future,” Juneau said. “It’s an honor to receive the Benedict J. Surwill Lifetime Achievement award.”

    After graduating from Browning High School, Juneau received her bachelor’s degree in English from Montana State University. She continued her education and earned a master’s from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. After teaching in North Dakota and Montana, Juneau received her juris doctorate from the University of Montana School of Law. Juneau directed the Indian Education division at the Office of Public Instruction for three years prior to becoming the first American Indian woman ever elected to an executive statewide office.