Friday Message from Superintendent Weltz | September 15, 2023

September 15, 2023

Dear Helena Public Schools Families,

It officially feels like autumn as mornings grow crisp and fall athletics and activities reach full tilt. The Bruins revved up the team spirit at Capital High this morning, where the day started with a pep assembly to prepare for tonight’s Homecoming Game against Hellgate High School.

Meanwhile, our student musicians are celebrating the selection of this year’s Montana All-State Music Festival musicians. Twenty CHS and HHS students were chosen to participate in the state music festival next month in Missoula, following a rigorous audition process last spring. Participants will rehearse for two days with world-renowned guest conductors, culminating in a gala performance at the Dennison Theatre on the UM campus. Bravo to each of these All-State performers, who put in hundreds of practice hours to represent Helena Public Schools at the highest level. See the list of All-State musicians on our Student & Educator Recognitions page.

I’m also pleased to share that on Wednesday, five Helena Public Schools students were named National Merit Semi-Finalists! Congratulations to Anna Gates, Carter Hoffman and Liam McAdams of Capital High, and Kai Moser and Annika Nehring of Helena High.

These five outstanding seniors are among 16,000 National Merit Semifinalists who qualified based on their performance on the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying test as juniors. They are now eligible to compete for some 7,140 National Merit Scholarships worth nearly $28 million to be awarded this spring. Semifinalists represent less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors. Congratulations to our National Merit Semi-Finalists and all of the K-12 educators who have helped them achieve national academic recognition! See our Student & Educator Recognitions page for photos.

One of my favorite parts of serving as superintendent here in Helena is seeing our community come together to address local challenges. Earlier this week, Helena Public Schools Board of Trustees Chair Siobhan Hathhorn and District Homeless Liaison Michele Zentz had the opportunity to present to participants in a five-week, community discussion series called “Rough Sleepers: A Community Conversation about the Unsheltered in Helena.” Hathhorn and Zentz shared statistics on the growing number of children who qualify for support through the federal McKinney-Vento Act, which provides funding to support homeless students. Helena Public Schools is grateful for the opportunity to contribute to this important discussion as we work to make sure every student can succeed, regardless of their housing and financial status.

Our Helena community has already stepped up in so many ways to help us support families in need. Case in point: Lewis & Clark County Justice of the Peace Mike Swingley and his team recently invited citizens to donate to Helena Food Share in exchange for a discount on outstanding Municipal Court fines. The donations, a full 1,000 pounds of food and $500 cash, will be used for Kid Packs – bundles of nutritious foods for kids who are at risk of hunger over the weekend. Food Share delivers at least 1,000 Kid Packs to our schools each week for students to take home. Thank you, Judge Swingley and Helena Food Share! I’m a firm believer that our schools and our community can overcome any challenge when we work together.

I wish you a wonderful weekend. Go Bru!


Signature: Rex M. Weltz

Rex Weltz, Superintendent
Helena Public Schools