By Alan Sorensen
Meadowlark Elementary School Principal Rita Surber received a surprise similar to Judy Wolfes Tuesday surprise when Nancy Keenan called a special assembly at her school in 1994.
Surber, who is still principal at the Chinook elementary school, was among dozens of guests on hand Tuesday when Havre Middle School science teacher Judy Wolfe learned of her award.
It is absolutely amazing, Surber said of the effect the award has had on her for the five years since that magical moment she was surprised with the information.
You start coming down from the high and think, OK, I can start doing my job now, Surber said, and then the phone rings or you get a card and youre right up there again.
Surber said that she has been in nearly constant contact with the Milken Foundation. And shes developed what she believes are lifetime friendships with other Milken winners.
Its the gift that keeps on giving, she said. I hear from them at least monthly. They really encourage you to stay in touch.
Surber even collected another all-expense paid trip to California this summer.
I just went back this year, she said. You get to go back. They put on an absolutely marvelous conference.
Also attending the ceremony were several Havre school board members and district administrators. Several state officials were on hand, too, including Linda Vaughey, head of the states political practices division, who was school board chairman when Wolfe was hired 13 years ago.