Montana Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau praised President Barack Obama for his stand on education and Native American issues when she spoke to the Democratic National Convention Wednesday night.
Juneau also got in a word of praise for the state's two top college sports teams.
Juneau was one of 10 women added to the speakers' list to shore up the party's strong lead among women voters. She spoke in a non-prime time slot, just before House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi was brought to the stage.
Juneau, the first native American woman elected to a statewide position, said education was the key to her success. It began, she said, when she attended Headstart while her parents were attending college.
She praised her mother, State Sen. Carol Juneau, D-Browning, who was also a delegate to the Charlotte, N.C. convention.
She praised Obama for his work in winning approval for the settlement with Native Americans under the Eloise Cobell settlement.
And she said she has been able to do more for Montana students because of the support she has received from the Obama administration.
As she listed her own educational resume, she paused to encourage sports teams.
She graduated from Montana State University in Bozeman — "go Cats," she said. Then after attending post-graduate studies at Harvard University, she received her law degree from University of Montana Law School. "Go Griz," she said.
Juneau is running for re-election. She is opposed by Republican Sandy Welch in the Nov. 6 voting.
Gov. Brian Schweitzer, who was a hit with the crowd at the 2008 convention, will speak to the convention tonight, a warm up to President Barack Obama who will accept his party's nomination.