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News & Info

Alumna Spotlight, Madalen Sugrue

Madalen Sugrue graduated from the College of Great Falls in 1954 with a bachelor of arts in Education. She then went on to reserve a Master of Arts in Education from the University of Montana, and a Professional Diploma in Special Education from Teachers College/Columbia University, New York.

Madalen started her teaching career in 1957 in the Anaconda School District. She taught 2nd and 3rd grade for seven years and Special Education for 60 years. After an astonishing 67-year career, Madalen retired in August 2017. She has worked with cognitively delayed, learning disabled, and physically disabled students. In addition, she served as teacher/director of Special Education from 1964 through 1977 and as acting Principal.

Madalen’s personal philosophy in education is to provide the most appropriate individualized education plans and services to all students including special needs students through a total school team approach which encourages joint venture and collaborative effort. She has been deeply involvement with the University of Providence through establishing a Special Education Resource Library, taught summer classes at the University of Great Falls, and served as a member of the UGF Education Advisory Council.

Madalen’s awards and honors are numerous. She was selected as Montana Teacher of the Year, named one of the Top 10 teachers in the United States by LOOK magazine, and a presenter at many conferences. Her most recent adventures were her travels to Perth, Australia to attend the International Association of Special Education Conference and Wroclaw, Poland for the 14th Biennial Conference of the International Association of Special Education.

On top of all her wonderful contributions as an educator, Madalen has been a devoted alumna and supporter of the university.

She stated, ” There are three things in life that can never come back once they are gone: time, words, and opportunity. And three things in life that you should never lose are: hope, peace, and honesty. I feel that I can give hope and peace to students here in their commitment to obtain a higher education through scholarships. It is hard to study and achieve when finances pull you down. I am an educator. I’ve seen this happen and I decided to help students at University of Providence because I graduated from here…and guess what…I used my knowledge and fulfilled my dreams in teaching elementary and special needs students. I never had an unhappy day in teaching. Focus on three things in life that make a person successful: commitment, sincerity, and hard work. Go for it and remember the three things in life that are truly constant: The Father, Son and Holy Spirit.”