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Columbia Falls native recognized by Montana State

| June 5, 2024 9:20 AM

By ETHAN VANDENBOSCH

Hungry Horse News

A Columbia Falls alumna was recently honored by Montana State University.

Anna Pickard graduated from MSU this spring, and she received the College of Education, Health, and Human Development’s “Outstanding Graduate,” award.

She was honored on May 9 at the graduation ceremony for her professionalism and work with her peers. 

Pickard was the only graduate from her major to receive this award and was nominated by her professors. 

Her mother Marna Pickard works at Ruder Elementary as a counselor, and her grandmother Mary Hagen also had a career as an educator but has since retired.

“I’ve seen them help shape who students become, and I want to try and do the same,” Pickard said.

Working with children is why Pickard wants to become an educator and she looks forward to a broad-based career in education.

“I don’t see myself only teaching at the elementary level but in other ways outside of the school. I’ve taught sports, camps, and other avenues as well, getting to work with kids is something I really enjoy,” she said.

Pickard spent a lot of time in the classroom student teaching before she graduated with honors and her work has grown her enjoyment of teaching.

 “I could see myself teaching kindergarten through third grade. I’ve spent a lot of time in first and second grade classrooms, and I have enjoyed my experiences there,” she said.

She said eventually she would like to follow in her mother’s footsteps.

“I hope to eventually get my master’s in counseling. I hope to start on that path and eventually become either an elementary or middle school counselor,”  she said.  “My mom is a middle school counselor, and I’ve seen the work she’s done for her students. I feel like that would be a perfect spot for me.”

Pickard currently  lives in Spokane, Washington. She said she  hopes to find a teaching job by the next school year, she said.