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Broadwater Elementary School's new principal Laura Conwell

Broadwater Elementary School's new principal Laura Conwell poses for a photograph at the school Friday.

Laura Conwell, Broadwater Elementary School's new principal, said she grew up in her school in Hamilton. 

The 10-year educator's father was also a school principal. Seeing his impact on students' lives is what drove Conwell to become an educator herself. Although, she admitted that having him as a principal when she was a student was something she wouldn't come to appreciate for many years to come. 

Taking the job as Broadwater's new principal was a turning point in Conwell's career. She went from being an elementary educator in Bozeman to being an administrator in Helena. Though unfamiliar with Helena, her father knew people in the system who assured her it was a good place to teach. 

Conwell said her main goal is to focus on the students of Broadwater and help them the same way her father helped his students. Teaching them the keys to being safe, being responsible and being learners is important to Conwell. 

"We have to remember that every child has a story and we need to understand that story," Conwell said. "Understand that their behavior is different from who they are." 

Conwell said the main reason for pursuing her career is to make meaningful connections with students and educators. She said former Principal Sue Sweeney left her in a great spot. 

Conwell is a graduate of the University of Montana, where she earned a bachelor's degree in education. She then received her master's degree in educational leadership from the University of Wyoming. She is also a National Board for Professional Teaching Standards certified educator.

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