The Rocky Mountain College Master of Educational Leadership Program received high marks after a review of the program by the Montana Office of Public Instruction in 2010, and it continues to provide quality leadership to Montana school. The RMC Master of Educational Leadership Program was described as a "model for the state and region," which may be why so many school districts are choosing to send its graduates for leadership roles. 

An example of the success of the RMC program is the announcement by Laurel School District that three of its five new principles earned their master's degree from the RMC program. Two also earned their bachelor's degrees at RMC.

The state commendations included praise for the research and evidence-based foundation for the development of the program, its leadership, academic excellence, cohort structure, and the two levels of impact that the program is providing - the development of new leaders and the re-invigoration of veterans who work with the program. 

"This team effort is rewarded by this praise, but more so by the success of our graduates," said Dr. Stevie Schmitz, RMC director of educational leadership and distance learning elementary education.

Her words are validated by the three RMC graduates of the master of educational leadership program, as reported in The Laurel Outlook:

Andrea Meiers

Andrea Meiers, who was the assistant principal at the middle school since 2010, has stepped  into the head principal position.

Meiers was born and raised in Miles City and graduated from Custer County High School. She earned a bachelor's of science in secondary education with an English endorsement at Rocky Mountain College and a master's degree in educational leadership, also at RMC. Before coming to Laurel, she taught language arts in Powell, Wyo., for four years.

She is marred to Mate Meiers and they have a daughter named Aubrey.

Sarah Sheldon

Sarah Sheldon is the new assistant principal at the Laurel Middle School.

Sheldon, who said she loves school and people, looks forward to being able to gain leadership experience while "staying close to home."

Livingston is her hometown and she graduated from high school there. She studied at Montana State University-Billings, earning her bachelor's degree, and she earned her master's degree at Rocky Mountain College.

Prior to her move to Laurel Middle School, she worked as an English teacher at Lewis & Clark and Castle Rocky Middle Schools in Billings.

Sheldon lives with her husband the three school-age children and enjoys reading, gardening, cooking, baking, canning, and being outdoors.

Melissa Lee

Melissa Lee with teach Title I this year the South Elementary School and has taken the responsibility of assistant principal.    

Lee is a Laurel native who returned five years ago to teach kindergarten. She taught kindergarten for three years at South Elementary School, then fourth grade for two years at Graff Elementary School.

Before returning to Laurel, she worked one year as a special-ed preschool coordinator and three years as a kindergarten teacher for Murphy Elementary School District in Phoenix, Ariz. She also taught kindergarten for one year in Glendale, Ariz.

After graduating from Laurel High School, Lee received her bachelor's of arts degree in elementary education in 2002 from Rocky Mountain College and her master's of arts in educational leadership in 2008, also from RMC.

Lee is married and the mother of four children. Lee is also the sister of Andrew Wildenberg, RMC associate professor, computer science.