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Troy school employee is Montana's nominee for inspirational award

by HILARY MATHESON
Daily Inter Lake | November 13, 2020 12:00 AM

Troy Public Schools Maintenance and Transportation Director Keith Haggerty is Montana’s nominee for the U.S. Department of Education’s Recognizing Inspirational School Employees (RISE) Award.

He was recently nominated by Gov. Steve Bullock to be considered for the national award that “honors and promotes the excellence exhibited by classified school employees who provide exemplary service to students in pre-kindergarten through high school,” according to the U.S. Department of Education.

Classified employees cover a broad range of specialties such as paraprofessionals, bus drivers, food-service workers, custodians and secretaries. Troy Public Schools Superintendent Troy Francom said these employees are the backbone of schools — maintaining safe, clean and supportive environments for students and teachers.

Governors in each state may nominate up to two classified school employees. A winner will be announced by spring 2021.

In submitting an application to Bullock, Francom outlined how Haggerty stands out in the areas of work performance, school and community involvement in addition to leadership and commitment. Francom described Haggerty as a reliable, hardworking and approachable employee who leads by example with humor, patience, encouragement and open-mindedness. Francom also noted Haggerty’s problem-solving and listening skills.

Haggerty has been with Troy Public Schools for nearly 10 years, starting workdays at 5 a.m. to ensure everything is attended to and running smoothly in the district’s facilities, which includes an elementary school, a gym and community center, a junior high and high school building and two bus barns. He oversees a bus fleet and a staff of dozens, which includes student workers.

During Haggerty’s tenure, Francom said he “led the district in a total facilities facelift” that encompassed remodeling classrooms, hallways, entryways, the elementary gym and installation of a new playground, in addition to security systems and roofing throughout the district.

In addition to serving as director, he is a head softball coach and assistant football coach.

“Keith has a great rapport with students and teachers and is a solid example of an effective team player,” Francom stated in Haggerty’s nomination application. “He possesses the basic common sense and intuitive accuracy that is characteristic of excellent leaders. The combination of diligence, intellect, hard work, and empathy that he has is the cornerstone of his accomplishments.”

Prior to working for the school district, Haggerty was a business owner who became involved in education as a parent of children who graduated from the school district and by serving as a school board trustee.

“Keith is known by students, parents and community members and is respected by all because of his dedication to the schools and community and his drive to make them better for all,” Francom said.

Reporter Hilary Matheson may be reached at 758-4431 or by email at hmatheson@dailyinterlake.com.