Students and Teachers Recognized for Excellence

There’s never a quiet month at the Great Falls Public Schools Foundation, and February is no different. This month we launched our Excellence in Education Awards, its notification time!

“I always say I have the best job in Great Falls, and this is certainly part of it,” said Dave Crum, the Foundation’s executive director. This month is when he notifies top students at C. M. Russell High School, Great Falls High School, and Paris Gibson Education Center that they’re being honored for their work.

“I walk into the room and tell students I have great news – ‘you’re the best of the best’ – and we’re here to honor your journey,” Crum said. “It’s a pretty special moment.”

Each year 15 scholars are selected from CMR and GFH. The selections are made by the schools and are based on academic achievement. But they are not solely limited to grade point average. “We also look at how many advanced placement and honors classes a student takes,” he said. “That’s where you really see how hard these kids push and challenge themselves.”

Along with the scholars, the Foundation also recognizes four students from Paris Gibson Education Center. Those selections are based on criteria including classroom work, overcoming challenges and good citizenship.

The honorees are then given a task. “I remind them that they didn’t get where they are alone,” Crum said. “They’ve been supported by family and friends, and along the way, they’ve especially had teachers who pushed them to excel. Now I want them to identify some of those teachers.”

Each student selects two educators – one from high school and one from elementary or middle school – who made a difference in their educational career. The students and teachers are all honored during a special Excellence in Education ceremony in May. They also are featured in the Foundation’s annual report. Two of these teachers are selected to receive the Burlington Northern Sante Fe (BNSF) Railway Teacher of the Year Awards of $2,500.

Celebrating outstanding students and teachers through our Excellence in Education program is a primary pillar of the Foundation. That program, now in its ninth year, along with the other pillars of providing classroom grants, awarding scholarships and raising funds for facility upgrades all combine to enhance public education in Great Falls. Thank you for helping us along the way and supporting the Foundation.

This year’s ceremony will be held on May 6th at the Great Falls High School Fieldhouse.

Student Honorees:

Emma Bergman, Jessica Byrne, Grace Carr, Hailey Finch, Aspen Lucero, Max Magers, Madeline Mayer, Jayla Mitchell, Andrea Newbrough, Gail Parambi, Quinn Soltesz, Andrew Stevenson, Peter Wilder, Kenai Wilson, Braden Younkin

Margaret Bell, Katherine Biddle, Joel Bonilla, Melena Bruskotter, Kyndra Buglione, Turner Burchard, Brianna Edwards, Samantha Faulkner, Jorgia Hawthorne, Benjamin Held, Ian Johnson, Stephanie Kowal, Taylor Radonich, Sarah Rice, Elliot Roberts

Katie Beisecker, Zak Doyle, Cassie Fitzgerald, Dani Hardesty

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 Dave Crum at (406) 268-7340 or