How to Support Teacher Appreciation Week

RELEASE DATE: April 29, 2021 — Teacher Appreciation Week is next week, May 3 – 7. If you’re grateful to any teachers for the work they’ve done in a tough year, consider letting them know. We can help!

The Great Falls Public Schools Foundation’s Gold Star Awards are a way for parents, grandparents or anyone in the community to recognize teachers and school staff members who’ve made a positive impact. Those wishing to honor the educator can make a donation of any amount to the Foundation, then the teacher is presented a special card and recognition in front of his or her class and school principal. …

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CMR and North Middle School Grant Projects

RELEASE DATE: March 30, 2021 — Have you ever bought a $10 Win This Truck raffle ticket? Or have you honored a school employee with a Gold Star Award? If so, thank you for contributing to students and classrooms across Great Falls. In the past 10 years your contributions allowed the Foundation to award teacher grants worth over $906,000! 

Learn more about two such grants in this video produced by students at C.M. Russell High School. Pictured are CMR Video Production teacher Brian Crosby, and video student Alex Thayer.

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How the Foundation Saved Recess

Plus Other Pandemic Solutions

RELEASE DATE: February 26, 2021 — Getting pandemic-stressed schoolchildren outside for fresh air and exercise is a given at our public schools. But just as classroom instruction poses new challenges, so do playgrounds.

At West Elementary, for example, Principal Lyndsey Stulc explained that each class is kept separate from others to maintain distance and reduce possible exposure to illness. With six different classes on the playground for each recess, that meant dividing the playground into six separate spaces. …

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From Scholarship Winner to PGEC Teacher

RELEASE DATE: January 27, 2021 — For Paris Gibson Education Center math teacher Kathryn Heryla, the calculation is simple: Hard work + scholarships = path to success.

A 2016 graduate of C.M. Russell High School, Kathryn relied on scholarships – including two awarded by the Great Falls Public Schools Foundation – to finish college without debt. Now she’s working at what she calls her “dream Job” and even thinking about buying a house. …

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Thank You Messages to Teachers Roll In

RELEASE DATE: December 17, 2020 — Sacajawea Elementary School first-grade teacher Debbie Hartman’s class had an unexpected interruption recently – the kind of interruption that can make a teacher’s day.

Dave Crum, executive director of the Great Falls Public Schools Foundation, was there to present her a Gold Star, and to let her know that her hard work mattered. …

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Teachers Awarded $120,967 in Grants by the Foundation

RELEASE DATE: November 19, 2020 — This time last week, the new wood shop at Great Falls High was literally abuzz with construction of the school’s first tiny house.

The 12-foot-wide, 20-foot-long home has a small footprint, but it’s making a huge impact. Dozens of students are getting the opportunity to work on a house from the ground up. …

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A Combined 27 Years of Commitment and Service

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.—Margaret Mead

RELEASE DATE: September 30, 2020 — In 2011 three community leaders were nominated to serve on the founding board of directors for the newly formed Great Falls Public Schools Foundation. These three women accepted the challenge and dedicated their time, talent, and resources to enhancing education in Great Falls. They served on the Foundation Board for nine years each contributing a combined 27 years of their keen insight which has been so important in making this Foundation a success. As their terms of board service come to an end, we want to share with you a little about these incredible women.

The Foundation would like to recognize their invaluable service to the board and to improving teaching and learning in our public schools. …

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handicap accessible playground

A 100-Year Connection Leads To New Playground

RELEASE DATE: August 27, 2020 — Back in the 1920s, the Ford Building in downtown Great Falls housed several business offices including those of dentist Dr. Roy Severance, attorney A.H. Gray and stockbroker David Adams Davidson. It’s unknown how well these men knew each other, but a century later their descendants came together in a project to benefit Great Falls kids.

“It’s like a full-circle,” said Doug Grey of the three families. “We assume our grandparents had at least social or professional relationships. Now two generations later we’ve joined together once again.” …

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How Scholarships Change Lives

Foundation Awards $336,615 in Scholarships in 2020

RELEASE DATE: June 25, 2020 — A few short years ago, Katie Beisecker saw no future for herself. Buffeted by depression and anxiety, the Great Falls teen lost hope and tried to end her life. But now her story is unfolding differently.

This fall Katie is headed to the University of Montana-Western in Dillon, along with a substantial scholarship made possible by the estate of a local family. Katie points to a caring school environment and the Jennifer Joy Astrin Memorial Scholarship as two factors in giving her a new path forward. …

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Donate A One Time Or Ongoing Scholarship For High School Graduates

Setting up an educational scholarship fund can be a meaningful way to give back to your community or to honor a loved one. There are a number of things to consider when planning a scholarship. Please contact the Foundation for assistance, we are happy to help you. Contact Stephanie Becker at [email protected] or call (406) 268-6021.