Scott Clapp named 2020 Dufresne Award winner

The May 29 graduation ceremony at the Montana Expo Park Rodeo Grounds was a celebration not only of the 250+ seniors who received diplomas, but also of a superlative teacher who was awarded with the annual Dufresne Award.

Five teachers – Teri Forde, Mike Lathrop, Scott Clapp, Brian Halverson and Christine Sundly – were finalists in 2020 for the prestigious award that comes with a $1,000 stipend. In the end, however, retiring English teacher Scott Clapp was named the winner of the 2020 Dufresne Award.

The 2019 recipient, retired math teacher Terri Dahl, introduced Clapp to the audience.

“Your students have been so blessed to have a teacher that is so dedicated to their teaching and to their students,” Dahl said. “I was honored to be your colleague.”

Clapp grew up in Michigan and served 12 years in the military. He earned a degree in English from the University of Great Falls, and he also earned master’s degrees in humanities and education. Clapp is retiring this year after spending 23 years at CMR, where he also coached speech and debate and fencing. Clapp and his wife Cindy are moving to Florida.

 “It is an honor to be selected by my peers, and I am humbled to have been considered worthy of such recognition in this institution of excellence,” Clapp told the graduation audience. “The CMR faculty, staff and students continuously demonstrate a pursuit of excellence in every area, and I consider it a privilege to have been part of the magic that is CMR Rustlers. You will always be a part of me.”

The annual Dufresne Award recognizes superlative educators in Great Falls – one each at Great Falls High School, CMR and Paris Gibson Education Center. Fred and Bertha Dufresne were farmers east of Great Falls and longtime contributors to public schools.