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Voices: O’Brien’s expertise in education needed at Montana Legislature

Voters in Senate District 46 should check the box for Shannon O’Brien on June 2. I’ve known Shannon for over a decade and she is a passionate leader who has dedicated her career to providing a quality education for Montana’s kids.

As an education policy advisor to Governor Steve Bullock, Shannon worked collaboratively on issues ranging from early childhood learning to workforce training and economic development. She helped identify and define problems and find solutions that work.

Montana spends almost a third of the state budget on education, yet very few legislators have professional experience working or teaching in the field.

In addition to statewide policy experience, Shannon served as dean of Missoula College and was a high school social studies teacher and coach. She is also a parent and small business owner who understands how affordable housing, a clean environment, quality healthcare and excellent public education collectively support healthy economies and communities.

COVID-19 has shed a bright light on how critically important it is to have strong, decisive and capable state leadership. This is the kind of leadership we need in the Montana legislature and Shannon O’Brien can bring it.