National Geographic : 1991 Apr
"Montana is a state of big sky and open lands. Yet it's also a place where people young ones, especially- can come to feel a sense of isolation from the rest of the world." That's the perspective of Mary Sheehy Moe, a native Montanan who's been a teacher for seventeen years. Overcoming this prob lem in Columbia Falls, Montana became her special mission in the centennial year of Montana's statehood. "My goal,' she explains, "was to bring the world to Columbia Falls students and Columbia Falls students to the world'." She began by weaving drama, song, ballet and oratory into a tapestry of Montana's color fulhistory. Then she enlisted the talents of students and teachers throughout Columbia Falls High School. The result was "Echoes from the Past,' a centennial pageant that she and her students took on a statewide tour during the spring of 1989. The tour highlight was a performance for Montana's leaders in the rotunda of the state capitol. "Not only did the pageant bring our talented students out of the isolation of their community,' Mary explains, "but it also gave other Montanans the sense oftogetherness and hope that is the special gift of art and youth"' For making that gift possible, we at State Farm are honored to present Mary with our Good Neighbor Award. The award includes a special gift of our own - a contri bution of $5,000 to the educational organi zation of her choice. What's more, we also wish Mary the very best as she continues to bring her students' unique talents to the rest of the world. STATE FARM INSURANCE STATEFARM INSURANCE COMPANIES SHomeOffices Bloomington, Illmoos The Good Neighbor Award was developed incooperation with the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE).