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


Jordann Lankford-Forster
American Indian Studies Coach
Paris Gibson Education Center

My philosophy of education is simple: make it fun!” Lankford-Forster says to describe her teaching approach. A teacher for nine years, seven with the GFPS District, she is interested in providing hands-on experiences to actively engage students. When possible, she creates cross-curricular activities in history, math, science, English, art, and culinary experiences. The graduation rate of American Indian Students in her program is 85%, which is twenty percentage points above the state average.


Sasha Moore
Instructional Coach, Family Advocate
Longfellow Elementary

A GFPS teacher for 15 years, Moore’s goal as an educator is to make a lifelong difference for a child. “Teaching is more than delivering content, it is supporting students to explore and find themselves. It’s knowing them academically, socially, and emotionally. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.” She says. In addition to teaching in the classroom, Moore has assumed many leadership roles in her career. Last year she was among a group of twelve educators tasked with building a new elementary remote learning program from the ground up.

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) 268-6021 or