Last Friday, 7th Graders at the Helena Middle School took a walking field trip to the Montana Historical Society and State Capitol Complex to learn about Montana State History, civics, land, architecture, and art history.
While touring the Capitol, Ms. Lori Smith’s advisor class decided to try their luck to see if they could peek inside the Governor’s office. According to Smith, “We stopped by the Governor’s office and asked if we could say hello to the Lieutenant Governor… His staff said yes!” The Lieutenant Governor and his staff – namely Korbin Bragstad – graciously offered an in-depth tour of the Governor’s office and meeting rooms. The Lieutenant Governor also shared personal stories, civics lessons, and some history of the office paintings and unique furniture in the offices.
Of the tour, Smith said, “It was an honor and privilege to meet the Lieutenant Governor. He made each of us feel special and valued.”
Through the interdisciplinary teamwork and grant writing success of three educators, Rossiter Elementary School students will have the privilege of welcoming Mariah Gladstone into their school this week.
Mariah Gladstone is passionate about the importance of pre-contact food – especially for indiginous people: food naturally harvested or grown by indigenous people prior to contact with an outside culture. The Columbia University graduate has developed this concept into an online cooking show and travels extensively educating on the topic.
On Monday, Gladstone met with four classes ranging from first to third graders about foods native to Montana and North America. A large variety of berries, nuts, beans, and seeds were introduced to classes, passed around the room for examination, and described by Gladstone according to location where they’re found, taste, preparation techniques, and nutritional properties.
Gladstone also demonstrated, with the help of students, the relationship among plants who work in cooperation – not in competition – with each other, like the “Three Sisters” of corn, beans, and squash, which utilize different nutrients in the soil and distinct growing methods to cohabitate the same area.
Throughout the presentations, students have remained engaged, stimulated, and enthused. The Helena Public School District is grateful for the cooperative efforts of Jennifer Loomis (Physical Education), Laura Trapp (Library, and HEA Educator of the Year!), and Sarah Dramstad (Music) to secure a Helena Education Foundation “Great Ideas” Grant allowing them to bring Gladstone into their school.
To quote Jim Weber, educator at Capital High School, he was been awarded this grant “many times over the last several years” from the Gene Haas Foundation, but he is extremely modest of the achievement.
Gene Haas, the owner of Haas Automation, awards this grant to high school and college machining programs that meet certain criteria. At the high school level, teachers then distribute the grant money to senior students who will be attending college specifically for machining and/or mechanical engineering.
This year, at Capital High, there will be four graduating seniors who meet this specific criteria, so the money will be divided among them. Thank you for your hard work, Mr. Weber!
Sue Butler was recently awarded “Leader of the Year” by her peers at the Montana Chapter of the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences. She will compete at the national level next year in Washington, D.C.
This wasn’t Butler’s first award, however. In 2017, she was awarded one of only six National Teacher of the Year awards. In 2009, Butler received the Professional of the Year award.
Butler has a long history of service to the industry, having previously served as the Montana Affiliate President, President-Elect, Counselor, and Public Policy Chair. Nationally, she has served as a member of the Ethics committee and has attended the National Leadership Council numerous times.
The Helena Public Schools and Capital High School are extremely grateful for the dedication, service, and passion Sue Butler continues to give her students and the profession.
Beth Heiser has worked as a paraprofessional in the Helena school district for over 20 years. Now she is being honored as the Helena Education Association’s Para Educator of the Year. Read the entire article about Ms. Heiser’s accomplishments HERE.
Laura Trapp is this year’s HEA Educator of the Year. Ms. Trapp considers herself a lifelong learner. She pursued her master’s degree and National Board certification while teaching full time. She also is a conference presenter for the 2019 Montana Library Association and member of the American Association of School Librarians. Read the full story published in the Independent Record HERE.
48 schools applied, and Capital High was declared one of just four schools for the 2018-2019 Montana SMART Schools Challenge. In this challege, schools across Montana compete to see who can save the most money and resources by conserving energy, recycling waste, and implementing green practices that benefit student health.
Congratulations, CHS, and thank you for your hard work!