Student and Educator Recognitions

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CHS BruinsDecember, 2020 – Each year, the Capital High Counseling Department spearheads a collection to purchase grocery gift cards for Bruin families who need them most during the holidays. This year, they collected $3,566.18 for their Winter Break Gift Card Drive!  A big ‘Thank You’ to the activity sponsors and staff who helped contribute, parents and community members who contributed, and especially to the Counseling Department for organizing this annual effort!

BPA logoDecember, 2020 – Capital High BPA members Amanda Haab, Lilian Keeton, Jenna Rahn, and Jaida Salois recently competed in the BPA Shark Tank virtual competition and won first place! Their winning product pitched, “Orbit,” is a revolutionary charging hub that provides touchless and wireless charging, eliminating the need for cords and outlets. This awesome sales pitch won the team $450 to offset costs for registration and travel expenses for the Business Professionals of America state and national competitions. Congratulations to these creative entrepreneurs and to Capital High BPA advisor, Terri Norman!

Sarah UrbanNovember, 2020 – Capital High Science Educator, Sarah Urban, received her official award for earning the 2020 Outstanding Biology Teacher Award (OBTA) for Montana.  Congratulations, Ms. Urban!

BengalsNovember, 2020 – Congratulations to HHS Educator, Lauren Gustafson, and the HHS Model UN team. HHS won the ‘small delegation’ award for outstanding group at the 55th annual conference.

Delegate awards:

  • Isaac Nehring, Owen Cleary, Jonathan DeWald, Grace Johnson, and Tim Cuddy


Position Paper Awards:

  • Owen Cleary, Grace Johnson, Jonathan DeWald, and Tim Cuddy

Top 5 Seniors (each are offered a $1,000 scholarship to UMT):

  • Grace Johnson

Top 25 Seniors:

  • Owen Cleary and Tim Cuddy

CHS BruinsNovember, 2020 – Capital High educator, Heather Parrish, through the MATELA newsletter that she co-edits, won an NCTE Affiliate Newsletter of Excellence Award.  Congratulations, Ms. Parrish!

CHS VolleyballNovember, 2020 – Congratulations to our Lady Bruin volleyball team, led by coach Rebecca Cleveland!  Three state championships: what an amazing achievement!

music notesOctober, 2020 – Fischer Friend, a HHS senior, auditioned for and was accepted to play for the professional Helena Symphony. He’s a product of Helena Schools music programs and would especially like to thank Tysen Ryder at HMS and Kevin Cleary at CRA Middle School for the incredible education and solid foundation they have provided him.  Congratulations, Fischer!  We look forward to hearing your work at the next Helena Symphony performance!

HUNCHOctober, 2020 – Through participation in HUNCH (High school students United with NASA to Create Hardware), the Capital High Welding Program created and delivered 30 Class IE Single Stowage Locker Internal Close-out Cover Assemblies to the Cargo Mission Contract to be added to the ISS (International Space Station) available inventory.  These assemblies are an accessory to the Single Stowage Lockers and are used to close out the back of the lockers for payloads that require total containment or do not require rear ventilation or other from the Express Rack.

All fabrication and assembly was accomplished before, after and during the COVID-19 situation with the excellent support of our HUNCH students, summer Externs, Hardware Mentors and the entire HUNCH Team. All contributed to the success of this effort. To infinity and beyond!  Way to go, team!

CHS BruinsOctober, 2020 – The Back-to-Back State Champion CHS Volleyball team, lead by coach Rebecca Cleveland, just sent a check  for $4,333 to St. Peter’s Cancer Treatment Center from this year’s annual Pink Night Fundraiser.  Thank you, student athletes, for giving back to our community!

BengalsOctober, 2020 – It was a snowy Saturday in Kalispell, but that didn’t stop the Bengal cross-country teams!  The Lady Bengals took home the 3rd place trophy for the second year in a row.  Kylie Hartnett ran second and Odessa Zentz ran 14th.  On the boys team, Robert Wagner ran 14th.  All three of these runners took home All-State honors.  Congratulations, Bengals!

music notesOctober, 2020 – Our local musicians are pretty amazing!  The following students received All State Orchestra honors:

  • From Helena High:
    • Aine Cleary (Freshman) – Cello
    • Owen Cleary (Senior) – Violin
    • Fischer Friend (Senior) – Bass
    • Lenny Triem (Senior) – Cello
  • From Capital High:
    • Maren Elliott (Sophomore) – Violin
    • Braelyn Germaine (Junior) – Viola
    • Jesse Hruska (Junior) – Viola
    • Jenalyn Slead (Junior) – Violin
    • Zach Boles (Senior) – Cello

Also, two CHS students have been accepted into the All State Honor Choir: Gabriel Beckman and Natalie Renk.  Who else thinks we need a virtual concert in the future?

BengalsCongratulations to HHS Student, Heath Caldwell, for placing 8th in the nation in Fossils at the US Invitational Science Olympiad on Saturday.  Heath competed online against 203 teams across the country! Congratulations Heath!

October, 2020 – Two outstanding students representatives have joined our Board of Trustees.

CHS BruinsMariah Mercer – CHS Senior: Mariah looks forward to being a Student Board Representative and ensuring that students’ voices are heard.  She is interested in pursuing a career in education and education administration.  She is an advocate for the arts in education.

Mariah is involved in a variety of activities and currently serves as Vice-President of Health Occupational Students of America, is a Niceness is Priceless leader, a member of Science Club, a leader in Math Club, and the co-founder of Girls Supporting Girls.  She takes AP and Honors classes and has maintained a 4.0 GPA.

If she could invite one person to speak to students at CHS she would invite Sal Kahn, creator of the Kahn Academy, because he believes that learning occurs through the mastering of content and should be individualized.  She believes he could inspire students to take charge of their learning and understand that learning is a lifelong journey.

If she could change one thing about her school, she would increase funding for the arts.  She is excited to serve as the CHS Student Board Rep for 2020-2021 and hopes her passion for helping others will help students as they face the many challenges this year has brought.


Claire Downing – HHS Senior: Claire applied to be the HHS Student Board Representative because she hopes to convey the needs of students to the Board by offering a first-hand perspective.  She cares deeply about the success of her peers and their ability to contribute to society as optimistic and respectful leaders following graduation.

Claire’s participation in 4-H and the Forward Montana Foundation have provided her with leadership experience and knowledge in budgeting and finance.  Her involvement in 4-H is extensive and she was recently elected Montana 4-H Ambassador President.  She is also an American Fisheries Society Hutton Scholar.  She has been active in a variety of extra-curricular activities at school and has served as President of the Envirothon Club, Vice-President of National Honor Society, President of 3-7-77 Service Club and is a volunteer at Bryant School all while taking AP and Honors classes and maintaining a 4.0 GPA.

If she could invite one person to speak to students at HHS she would invite Mister Rogers because he devoted his life to educating youth and adults on how to process emotion in positive ways.  He was a pioneer for education and overcame his own struggles with bullying and depression.

If she could change one thing about her school it would be to increase opportunities for career education and life skills classes to allow for a successful transition towards a future career path.


October, 2020 – Standout Helena High student athlete, Robert Wagner, has been invited to compete in the West Coast Open Water Championships in Las Vegas.  Wagner boasts 10 state medals including five state titles, and he recently learned that he qualified for four events at Junior Nationals in December.  Congratulations, Robert, and best of luck!

National Merit Scholarship ProgramOctober, 2020 – We have what’s sure to be a record-setting year for National Merit Semi-Finalists.  At Capital High, Sarah HellerTyler Almquist, and Victor Scott earned the honors.  At Helena High, four students received awards – Aaron Gerhart, Elsie Harrington, Greyson Smith, and Lenny Triem.  These academically talented high school seniors now have the opportunity to continue in the competition for approximately 7,500 National Merit Scholarships. Semi finalists represent less than 1% of U.S. high school seniors.  Thanks for your hard work, students!

Shape MontanaOctober, 2020 – HHS Educator, Joan Leik, earned a 2020 SHAPE Montana wellness award.  The SHAPE Montana Awards recognize the outstanding individuals dedicated to students in our field. They serve as an inspiration for our members to continue in the pursuit of excellence as professionals in Health Enhancement, Physical Education, and its allied fields.  Congratulations, Ms. Leik!