Student & Teacher Recognition

The Foundation is proud to celebrate students, teachers and staff who excel in Great Falls schools. Their success is a testament both to their individual efforts and to the community commitment to public education.

Excellence In Education

This program recognizes top graduating seniors, selected by their principals, as Distinguished Scholars and Distinguished Achievers. These students then select the two teachers or educators who most inspired them and had a positive impact on their educational careers. The students and teachers are honored at a special recognition ceremony each May and in the Foundation’s annual Excellence in Education publication.

Excellence In Education Teachers Of The Year

BNSF Railway sponsors the program in which two educators are selected from the 66 teachers nominated by the students as part of Excellence in Education. The winning teachers each receive $2,500 to use for continuing education or for equipment or materials for their classroom.

The Excellence in Education BNSF Teachers of the Year 2020

Beth Britton

Beth Britton
Journalism and English Teacher
C.M. Russell High School

Ms. Britton has been teaching for 16 years. During her tenure she has taught courses in the Journalism/Publications department as well as English courses. She and her students receive considerable recognition for their work on the Stampede newspaper and Russellog. In 2019, the University of Montana Journalism department named the Stampede the best student newspaper in the state. Her principal, Kerry Parsons, said, “It is because of this commitment that Beth establishes exceptional relationships with her students.” Since 2015, Ms. Britton has served as President of the Montana Journalism Educators Association (MJEA). She is a dedicated, quality educator making a difference in students’ lives.

Callie Ross

Callie Ross
3rd Grade Teacher
Riverview Elementary

Mrs. Ross has been teaching for 15 years and has been at Riverview for the past four years. She said, ”The most important thing I can give my students is the best 3rd grade experience possible that will leave a lasting impression when they leave my classroom.” She is a passionate educator and a true believer that education provides opportunities. Her principal, Luke Diekhans, stated, “Parents have mentioned at length the impact Mrs. Ross has had on their children. Mrs. Ross teaches like a great coach. She models the skills, She provides the opportunity for her students to practice, and builds their confidence.” Mrs. Ross is an innovative teacher, always looking for new methods to enhance education.

Gold Star Award

Celebrate your child’s teacher! A Gold Star Recognition Award honors a special teacher, administrator, or staff member for his or her dedication and above-and-beyond contribution to education. Parents, grandparents, or any community member may donate any amount to the GFPS Foundation in honor of GFPS employees they want honored. Each honoree receives a special Gold Star Award card, which is hand delivered by the Foundation's executive director. Gold Star Awards are presented throughout the year, but are most popular during holidays and the end of the school year as a way to thanks educators.


Distinguished Scholars Selected


Excellence Teachers Recognized


Heisey Teacher Scholarship Recipients

Support The Future Of Education Through Community Leadership & Philanthropy

The Great Falls Public Schools Foundation partners with local business leaders and companies to make a difference in the lives of students. To discuss how your organization can help, contact the Foundation at (406) 268-7340 or