Professional Overview

 Teacher - Helena Public Schools

  • 2017 Montana Teacher of the Year
  • 6th Grade Western Hemisphere Geography Teacher at C.R. Anderson Middle School in Helena, Montana.
  • National Board Certified Teacher, Early Adolescent Social Studies since 2009.
  • South America Sabbatical, 2nd semester 2011-12.
  • Associate Director, Montana Association of Student Councils
  • Ride Leader, Helena Dynamos Youth Mountain Biking Club
  • BA, economics, 1992, The University of Montana
  • MA, political science, James Madison Fellow, 2000, The University of Montana.
  • NBCT (National Board Certified Teacher) 2010
  • Traveled through Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, and a bit of Peru during a semester-long sabbatical - spring semester 2012.
  • Took a group of 20 to Costa Rica for an international educational experience during spring break - March, 2013.
  • Taught American History, American Government, AP Government, Psychology, Video Editing, and Economics at Fergus High in Lewistown, MT from 1995-2004.
  • Worked for former Governor Racicot & Supt. Keenan in Kumamoto, Japan, 1993-94.
 Aircraft/Initial Attack Dispatcher, US Forest Service

  • Sponsored by the Helena Interagency Dispatch Center (Helena National Forest, Region 1 - AD employee).
  • With 25+ years of seasonal fire experience, including tanker bases, Heavy Air Tankers (3 years), helicopter operations (about 5 year helitack crew member and foreman), hot shot crew (Helena IHC 4 years), as well as initial attack and aircraft dispatching (10+ years).
  • Dispatching fire assignments since 2008 include: Alaska (McGrath), Montana (Helena, Billings), Oregon (Medford), New Mexico (Albuquerque, Taos), California (North Operations GACC, Redding), Utah (Cedar City), and Wyoming (Casper, Cody).
 Photographer (Amateur)
  • A passion... that I haven't had time for the past couple years... need to get back into it!!!
  • Sample nature photographs taken by Kelly W. Elder - TrekNature
  • Sample non-nature photographs taken by Kelly W. Elder - TrekLens