Spring 2021 News Briefs

First off, a couple of Helena High Science students recently received national recognition for their projects. Over spring break, Heath Caldwell and Claire Downing competed at the Montana Science Fair hosted by the University of Montana. Caldwell presented on his work “Comparative Osteohistology within the Long Bones of Rocky Mountain Elk” and won the Animal Science Award, Best Wildlife Project, and Gold Ribbon. Downing – also our illustrious HHS Student Representative on the Board of Trustees – presented her work “Colonizing Bryophytes Used as a Post-Wildfire Ecosystem Stabilization Treatment in Montana” and was awarded First Place Grand Award, Larry Fauque Grand Award, and Silver Ribbon.

Additionally, for their same projects, Caldwell and Downing competed in the Intel Regional Science Fair hosted by Montana Tech on Wednesday, March 3. Downing earned a First Place Grand Award, Association for Geoscientists Award, and a Blue Ribbon Gold Medal. Caldwell won Montana Tech Biology Department’s “Best in Show” and Blue Ribbon Silver Medal.

Downing also has been invited to compete at the Regeneron ISEF – International Science and Engineering Fair on May 3-6, 2021, via video conferencing. Regeneron ISEF finalists compete for nearly $5 million in awards, prizes, and scholarships.

Secondly, for Franny Leonard, our school nurse at Four Georgians, Broadwater, and Jefferson, New Year’s Resolutions are going strong, and she’s helping her coworkers stay on track with theirs, too. (Because school nurses aren’t busy enough this year!) She’s committed to helping her staff become healthier through monthly themes, friendly competitions, and research-based support. For instance, March’s focus was healthy eating by adding fruits and vegetables and included a fruit and veggie serving competition and daily emails. In April, Four Georgians will be focusing on their water intact and getting enough sleep.  What a fun way to work together towards a healthier workplace!

Last but certainly not least, our food service team has continually stepped up to the plate this school year, proving feeding our Helena children is their top priority. Through USDA funding, our food services have able to provide free meals to all children up to 18 all school year long, including on weekends. These meals have not been limited to in-school students or even Helena School District students. Meals have gone home on Fridays with in-school students, fully remote learners, kids too young for school, and homeschool children. By establishing meal pick-up locations on Wednesdays and developing a sign-up sheet for meals, our food service department has provided an average of 5,000 meals to kids every single week this school year. And those are just the meals picked up by families.

With kids in school four days each week and including meal pick-ups on Wednesdays for all other children, our food services department served over 112,000 meals just in March! They have to be tired; they’ve got to be exhausted; but they are passionate about feeding Helena’s children, and enough thanks can’t be offered.