Press Archive

Posted on June 7, 2016

Bold and striking anti-meth mural goes up in Helena

Graffiti artist Cole Kerby, spray paint can in hand, was putting finishing touches on his bold and bright anti-meth mural Monday noon at the Helena Housing Authority.

A flamboyant rainbow of colors, Kerby’s mural at the Helena Housing Authority on Billings Avenue depicts some of Helena’s most prominent landmarks — the surrounding mountains, the Cathedral of St. Helena, Helena Civic Center and the Capitol.

Arching overhead is the slogan “Not Even Once” and “Not in Our House” — with the banner Montana Meth Project below.

The mural is a joint project of the Montana Meth Project and Helena Housing Authority.

Kerby hopes his mural sparks conversations.

The mural catches the eye of students attending Helena High School, which is located across the street from the mural.

Kerby chose joyous colors to spark viewer curiosity and interest.


Posted on May 25, 2016

Helena High School team takes first in state Envirothon competition — heading to North America competition in Ontario

574511f8d9521.imageAnd then, you have to give a 10-minute presentation on the group’s solution to a group of experts.

That’s what a group of Helena High School students on the Envirothon team did, and they did such a great job they took first place in the state contest in late April in Lewistown.

Their next stop: The North American Envirothon competition in Petersborough, Ontario, from July 24-29.

Team members include: Ally Peccia, Braden Scherting, Pepper Pennington, Kris Bosch and Devin Seyler, with coaches Claire Pichette and Tyler Hollow.

While some students may sit and munch their pizza and sandwiches over lunch, Envirothon students have been meeting in Pichette’s biology classroom Thursday noon hours poring over field guides and bouquets of weeds, honing their expertise on everything from native plants to soils, as well as wildlife and aquatic species.

What, the reader may be wondering, is an Envirothon?

Read more at the Helena IR here.

Posted on May 25, 2016

Central School parents demand a solution — soon

Central School parents and staff were back in front of the Helena Public Schools Board of Trustees Tuesday night asking for a solution — soon.

It’s been three years since Central School faced an emergency evacuation order after an engineering report warned of serious structural damage in case of an earthquake.

At that time, Central students were “temporarily relocated” from their downtown campus to Lincoln School, 1325 Poplar St.

One option put on the table Tuesday — moving Central students to Ray Bjork School — was met by stiff opposition from the Early Childhood Special Ed Preschool program at Ray Bjork, which is also shared with Head Start.

Both Central and Ray Bjork schools deal with the school district’s most vulnerable, at-risk students.

Trustee Sarah Sullivan agreed to head up a task force of board trustees, parents and community members to immediately explore Central School options to bring back to the board.

Read more at the Helena IR here.

Posted on May 24, 2016

One Class at a Time: Kristen Lyndes

Kristen Lyndes teaches fifth grade at Smith Elementary and as this week’s One Class at at Time recipient, she hopes to improve the learning experience for students who have sensory issues.

First Interstate Bank and KXLH recently presented Lyndes with a $250 check.

Lyndes plans on buying materials to create “sensory stations.”

The work spaces can be used by all students but are geared more toward those who have sensory issues and struggle with organizational skills.

The stations allow students to stand and move around.

Lyndes said the sensory stations will also help her students to regain focus and learn at the same time.

Lyndes said, “I feel that movement provides students an opportunity as you can see in my classroom with all the ball chairs and the wiggle seats, better focus. It allows them to concentrate on me instead of thinking about where or how uncomfortable they might be.”

The sensory stations come equipped with sensory and educational materials as well as hands-on learning games.

View story at KXLH here.

Posted on May 24, 2016

Academic progress, weighted grades, Central School on tap for school board

Capital High School’s academic progress and a report recommending weighted grades are among the topics on the Helena Public Schools Board of Trustees’ Tuesday work session agenda.

The board will also hear a report from Central School parents about the problems that displacement to Lincoln School have caused in their school community.

The public meeting is scheduled for 4 p.m. Tuesday, May 24, at Capital High School library, 100 Valley Drive.

 Read more at the Helena IR here. 
Posted on May 21, 2016

Board interviews interim superintendent candidates Friday — decision expected Thursday

The Helena Public Schools Board interviewed four finalists Friday for the interim school superintendent position and expects to make its hiring decision at a special public board meeting 5:30 p.m. Thursday, May 26, at the Ray Bjork Learning Center.

The public can see and hear the interviews online at the Helena Public Schools website, starting Monday.

The board is accepting public comment through Thursday, including at Thursday’s meeting.

A comment form can be downloaded at the website and dropped off at the May Butler Building.

Or you can email comments to all the board members at

Resumes and this article can be found at  the

Posted on May 19, 2016

A different perspective on soccer coach issue

As a trustee on the Helena School Board, I’d like to offer a different perspective on the Capital High coaching issue which has dominated the headlines in the IR over the past week. The position the Board recently found itself in regarding the varsity girl’s soccer coach was unfortunate. The information reviewed by the Board was in the form of an investigative report initiated by Superintendent Kent Kultgen. The result of this investigation, less than 10 percent of which was offered for public consumption, found no laws broken or policies violated. That should not be interpreted, however, as a report that uncovered no cause for concern.

Read More

Posted on May 16, 2016

Prep coaches fear precedent, message sent by board vote

“I’m one parent away from being unemployed.”

That from a longtime local high school coach, when asked for reaction to the school board’s April 27 decision to open the Capital High girls head soccer coaching position — effectively firing Nan Brisko after just one season on the job.

The route taken in order to reach that result was far removed from what had been standard procedure, and it has coaches concerned about future job security.

Read more at the Helena IR here.
Posted on May 15, 2016

Released investigative report finds no misconduct by Brisko

After the Helena Public Schools District rang up a $12,650 attorney bill for investigating a complaint filed against Capital High School girls soccer coach Nan Brisko, a majority of the school board trustees chose to set aside the attorney’s findings at an April 27 board meeting.

Beth O’Halloran, who works for the school district’s attorney, Elizabeth “Bea” Kaleva, interviewed 38 individuals and reviewed more than 100 pages of documents and made a finding of “no misconduct” by Brisko.

However, the majority of the trustees voted to, in effect, overrule the attorney’s report and a decision by the district’s athletic director, Jim Opitz, to keep Brisko as coach.

They voted 5 to 3 to open up Brisko’s position and accept applications.

Opposing the motion were school board trustees Terry Beaver, Libby Goldes and Betsy Baur.

Board chairman Aidan Myhre and trustees Libbi Lovshin, Sarah Sullivan, Karen Goldsberry and Cherche Prezeau voted in favor.

Following the board vote, the two girls soccer assistant coaches, Lindsey Gilstrap and Alex Nyland, resigned on the spot.

Read more at the Helena IR here. 

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