Friday Update from Superintendent Weltz | Feb. 16, 2024

Dear Families and Staff,

Thank you to all who attended or tuned in to Tuesday evening’s Board of Trustees meeting, some staying late into the night.

It was inspiring to see so many parents, staff and community members stepping forward to be informed and involved. Your impassioned voices drove home how deeply our Helena community values our public schools.

Board members received reports from two stakeholder groups that have worked over the past year to provide vital recommendations for our district’s future.

Thank you to each of the volunteers who took time out of busy lives to serve on the Budget Recommendation Consensus Committee. This work was not easy, but will provide important direction for our Board of Trustees as we address the budget shortfall facing Helena Public Schools and other Montana AA districts.

Our district is also deeply grateful to the Facilities Master Planning Stakeholders Group and SMA Architecture + Design for their work leading the Facilities Master Planning Process.

Trustees will spend the next few weeks reviewing the budget and facilities reports, which they saw for the first time Tuesday evening. We look forward to revisiting these documents at the Board’s next regular meeting on Tuesday, March 12.

Trustees also approved holding a general election for May 7. The district will ask our community to approve levies for general operations, safety and security, and technology. In the coming weeks, we’ll share details of how these levies will protect our students and support 21st Century learning technology.

We have many Student & Educator Recognitions we have to share this week. Thank you to our parents and community volunteers for all you do to help our students excel!

Enjoy the long weekend with your loved ones.



Signature: Rex M. Weltz, Superintendent




Rex M. Weltz, Superintendent
Helena Public Schools


Student and Educator Recognitions 

Swimmers and Wrestlers take state titles 

It was an outstanding weekend for our swim and wrestling athletes who earned state titles and even set a new all-time record at state tournaments over the weekend. 

On the mat, Capital High Wrestler Cole Graham clinched the state championship at 182 lbs. 

In the pool, Helena High’s Garrett Krattiger earned two state titles, winning the Boys 100 Yard Backstroke event and 500 Yard Freestyle, setting a new record time in the latter at 4:39.74. 2. 

The Capital High Bruins Boys Wrestling Team was also awarded the Stockman Bank Team Sportsmanship Award for the 2024 MHSA State Wrestling Tournament. Way to go Bruin Boys! 

Stockman Bank team award with photo of CHS Wrestlers.

Our Bengals and Bruins also had multiple top finishers: 

CHS Wrestling 

Taylor Lay: 2nd  Girls Wrestling at 120 lbs. 

Wyatt Shull: 6th Boys Wrestling at 113 lbs. 

HHS Wrestling 

Clara Schuele: 6th Girls Wrestling at 138lbs girls 

CHS Swim 

Capital Boys Team: 2nd at State 

200 Yard Boys Medley Relay 2nd 

400 Yard Boys Freestyle Relay 2nd 

Everson Connors: 3rd Boys 200-Yard Freestyle and 500 Yard Freestyle 

Isaac Urban: 3rd Boys 100-Yard Freestyle 

Ryan Oberg: 5th  Boys 100-Yard Backstroke 

Isaac Urban: 5th Boys 50-Yard Freestyle  

Lincoln Cochran: 6th 100-Yard Breaststroke 

Elizabeth Urban: 6th Girls 100-Yard Breaststroke 

HHS Swim 

Devin Goetsch: 2nd, Boys 200-Yard Individual Medley 

Devin Goetsch: 4th, Boys 100-Yard Butterfly 

Congratulations to all of our Bengal and Bruin swimmers and wrestlers on an outstanding season! 

Speech & Debate competitors headed to Nationals 

Congratulations to Layla Riggs, who earned a slot at the 2024 National Speech & Debate Tournament in Des Moines, Iowa, in June. And a huge thanks to our community members who volunteered to help Helena host the National Speech & Debate Association Qualifier Tournament here in Helena last weekend. 

In other Speech & Debate placements:  

Zaraj Carrucini (Capital) is first alternate and Emerson Poole (Helena) is second alternate in Original Oratory. Ethan Taylor (Helena) was also a semifinalist in Original Oratory.  

Samual Hutchinson (Helena High) was a semifinalist in Humorous Interpretation. Lyric Lanes (Capital) was a semifinalist in International Extemporaneous.   

Photos of CHS and HHS speech and debate competitors sitting on bleachers.

Five HPS Students Named Presidential Scholar Candidates 

The Presidential Scholars Program was created in created in 1964 by executive order of the President. The program is one of the nation’s highest honors for high school students. Five members of our Helena Public Schools graduating class of 2024 are among nationwide candidates to this elite group, which will be announced later this spring. A total of 161 students will be selected.  

Congratulations and good luck to: 

Capital High School
Katherine Berg, Aria Ehlert, and Liam McAdams 

Helena High School
Kai Moser and Annika Nehring 

Five HPS Students Advance as National Merit Scholars 

Five Helena Public Schools students are among the nation’s National Merit Scholarship Finalists, reaching the final stage in one of the nation’s most competitive academic award programs.  

Of the 1.5 million applicants from across the nation who submit PSAT scores to the program, approximately 16,000 semi-finalists are chosen. Having advanced to Finalist status, these Helena students are now eligible to compete for just over 7,000 prestigious National Merit Scholarships that will be awarded later this spring. 

Congratulations and good luck! 

Capital High School 

Anna Gates
Carter Hoffman
Liam McAdams 

Helena High School 

Kai Moser and Annika Nehring 


In the News 

Photo of Principal Zanto and others jumping into tank of ice water at Sweetheart plunge fundraiser.

Principal Zanto takes Sweetheart Plunge 





Thumbnail image of KTVH webpage with story on Board of Trustees hearing facility and budget recommendations.

Helena School Board discusses budget, facility recomendations




Thumbnail of KTVH web page with image of story about elementary students making Valentine's Day cards for care facility residents.

 Elementary students make Valentine’s Day cards for residents of care facilities 





Image of KTVH webpage with story on CR Anderson Middle School ski trip

C.R. Anderson Middle School restarts annual ski trip to Great Divide Ski Area 


Pic of the week 

Photo of Kessler Elementary student holding fish caught on ice fishing field trip.

Kessler Elementary students have fish stories to tell after ice-fishing with Fish Wildlife & Parks this week!