2015 Celebration of Excellence Essays Monday, May 04, 2015 Sunday, May 04, 2025

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Distinguished Student:  Shera Wanner                                      Honored Educator:  Ms. Judy Vinecke
Parent:  Rick & Marcia Wanner                                               Emerson Elementary School
 
When I think of someone who profoundly impacted my education, Ms. Vinecke comes to mind. Every day, she made the task of learning not an obstacle, but a fun, fulfilling endeavor in which she took the time to not only look at the students as individuals and help them as such, but also recognize successes and celebrate them. Moving forward in my education, I’ve never forgotten the book she gave me, Franny K. Stein, and how it spurred my love of reading. So thank you Ms. Vinecke for showing me and many others the opportunities of education.
  
Distinguish Student:  Seth Jaksha                                                Honored Educator:  Mr. Curtis Smith
Parents:  Julie & SteveJaksha                                                     Butte High School
 
Mr. Smith was a great teacher for me. He made me question every answer, rather than just accepting the answer I was given. This forced me to think differently. Mr. Smith also taught me that school and grades are not the only important thing in life. Respect and honesty
were on the top of the list for values that he tried to instill in all of his students. I only had Mr. Smith for Montana history, but he taught me so much more than just that. I appreciate the things Mr. Smith taught me, and I am extremely grateful that I was able to have him as a teacher.
  
Distinguished Student:  Hailey Ogolin                                 Honored Educator:  Ms. Maureen Osborne
Parents:  Keith & Shaunna Ogolin                                      Retired Educator Hillcrest Elementary School
 
Mrs. Osborne was my first grade teacher and had a major influence on who I am as a student today. She taught me the importance of a good work ethic and the importance of getting your work done. I think I had more homework in first grade than I have any other year, but I’m grateful Mrs. Osborne instilled such a strong work ethic at such a young age. She has made my high school years that much easier because I still hold that work ethic. I am glad I had the opportunity to be influenced by such an amazing woman.

Distinguished Student:  Jessica Jones                                            Honored Educator:  Mr. Brian Tobin
Parents:  Lisa Carey                                                                     Butte High School
 
Since I began clarinet and percussion lessons in grade school, I always wanted to be in both band and choir when I was in high school. Unfortunately, I was unable to take band until this year. Even though I just became his student, Mr. Tobin accepted me with open arms into not only the band, but also into Drum Line. Mr. Tobin honestly cares about all of his students. He knows how to be a friend while still being the one in charge, which helped me feel comfortable in his class. I'm glad Mr. Tobin was my first band director because he helped me feel
confident in my musical abilities. 
  
Distinguished Student:  James Keenan                              Honored Educator:  Frau Wendy Schoonen
Parents:  Laura & Jim Keenan                                          Butte High School
 
Mrs. Schoonen, or Frau as she’s known to all her students, has been an extremely influential person in my life. Between the three years of German classes I’ve taken with her and our three week exchange trip to Germany last year, I’ve had the opportunity to get to know Frau better than any other teacher I’ve had. I’ve learned that not only is she the fun and wacky teacher that everyone loves, but she is also one of the most kind and helpful people at Butte High. If you have a problem, no matter how big, Frau is the teacher who will go out of her way to make sure everything you need gets done. She is a great asset to both the school and the community, and I feel very lucky that I’ve had her as a teacher.
  
Distinguished Student:  Eyvanna Connole                                        Honored Educator:  Ms. Laurie Rossberg
Parents:  Rayelynn and Steve Connole                                            East Middle School
 
Mrs. Rossberg was my 7th grade English teacher, and student council leader. She truly impacted my life through her unique teaching
style, and the personal connection she makes with all of her students. The mark of a sincerely influential teacher can perhaps be described by the way that Mrs. Rossberg altered my way of thinking. She implements many different perspectives into her lessons that allow students to think on a deeper level. Mrs. Rossberg taught me something that cannot be found in any curriculum book, or at any teacher’s workshop: a sense of belonging, a desire to learn, and thebenefits of success.

Distinguished Student:  Jacob Urich                                                 Honored Educator:  Mr. Arie Grey
Parents:  Tammy Urich and Frank & Rhonda Urich                          Butte High School
 
I met Mr. Grey in the cafeteria of East Middle School. At that time, I had no idea just how influential he was and how much of an impact he would have on my life. However, I soon came to the conclusion that his main purpose as head coach of the football program was and still is, to instill good values into every player and make positive role models in our community. Throughout the past four years he has taught me to pursue every obstacle with determination and a positive mindset. This goes for both the field as well as the classroom. He has pushed me to strive to become great in all aspects of life. For this, Iam truly grateful. 
  
Distinguished Student:  Justyce Connole                                     Honored Educator:  Ms. Maureen Driscoll
Parents:  Tijana & Seth Schutte                                                  Butte High School

Mrs. Driscoll is by far one of my absolute favorite teachers. Her class is awesome and it really changed my mind about chemistry. Before I came into her class I wasn't very sure if I liked the idea of a Chemistry class, but I love it now. Chemistry is one of my favorite classes because Mrs. Driscoll makes it so much fun. She has a way of making you laugh and most of the time she isn't trying to. Not only has her class prepared me for college, but she has as a teacher. Her class gets hard at times but Mrs. Driscoll always helps me when needed. Thanks for being an awesome teacher!

Distinguished Student:  Jessica Flamand                                                 Honored Educator:  Ms. Janet Pascoe
Parents:  Mary Ann Flamand & Jim Flamand                                          East Middle School
 
My eighth grade math teacher, Mrs. Janet Pascoe, changed my attitude toward math.  Not only was she instrumental in developing

my math skills, but Mrs. Pascoe taught me to enjoy math while at the same time making it understandable as well.  On a daily basis, Mrs. Pascoe encouraged and challenged me to comprehend and improve my math skills, and her motivation and enthusiasm prepared me to be successful in higher-level math classes at Butte High School.  As a result of my eighth grade year with Mrs. Pascoe, I have a better comprehension of math, and it is one of my favorite subjects.

Distinguished Student:  Blake Casagranda                                    Honored Educator:  Ms. Julie Johns
Parents:  Lynette & Joe Casagranda                                             Butte High School

Throughout my educational career, I have come to believe that a good teacher is more valuable than any fathomable amount. Mrs. Julie Johns, my Algebra II Honors, Pre-Calculus, AP Calculus, and Introduction to Engineering teacher, has been one of those few that undoubtedly enhance a young person’s life beyond measure. Time and time again, I am in awe of her constant inspiration, indescribable
compassion, and unfailing righteousness. In addition, her unmistakable adroitness in teaching both academic and ethical skills has considerably changed my life. Therefore, Mrs. Johns, I must express my continuing gratitude. Thank you for helping me realize that the most successful person is one who positively impacts another’s life.

Distinguished Student:  Pete Hallquist                                                   Honored Educator:  Ms. Denise Bordleau
Parents:  Pete Hallquist, Sr                                                                   Butte High School

Through all the years of school there were very few classes that I enjoyed. There is only one teacher I've had that actually helped
me through school. I have taken Ms. Bordeleau’s class for 3 years now. Ms. Bordeleau is our leader for Skills-USA. She talked me into joining last year, I never knew there were welding competitions through schools until then. I didn't have talent at it at first. She kept helping me as the competitions went on and I was willing to listen and learn. I did ok last year at state. This year she kept showing me techniques and little tricks to make me do better. She had a lot of confidence in me to do well at state this year and I ended up taking 4th in state. If I didn't take her class I would not have to skills I would have needed to get the job I have now. Ms. Bordeleau, my dad, and a close family
friend are the reason I am where I am today and where I want to be after school. They are the reason I have my life on track to where I want to be. A simple thank you is not enough to say about them, but it’s the only thing I can put to words.   

Distinguished Student:  Madison Haynes                                   Honored Educator:  Mr. Ted Farabee
Parents:  Charles & Nichole Haynes                                         Butte High School

I’ve had the honor of attending Ted Farabee’s class for the past six years. I met Ted on the first day of 7th grade, when I was just a scared tiny 12 year old in a new state. Since then, I have worked with Mr. Farabee to improve my voice and the holistic voice of the Choir. He has taught me a great many lessons, ranging from singing properly, spending my money wisely, and dealing with the disappointment of seeing a terrible movie. I have had the honor of not only getting to know Mr. Farabee as a teacher, but as a person; a person who not only loves Superhero movies, but loves his students.

Distinguished Student:  Amanda Spear                                         Honored Educator:  Mr. Jim O’Neill
Parents:  Brad & Rose Spear                                                      Past Margaret Leary Principal/Curriculum Director

Through my academic career I have been fortunate enough to be influenced by many great people; one of the most significant being Mr. Jim O’Neill. As a child I was extremely quiet and wouldn’t have dreamed of doing anything that was out of my comfort zone. Mr. O’Neill encouraged me to participate in many different activities and interact with others in order to become more outgoing and successful. He would go out of his way to make sure I was comfortable and encourage me to take small steps into things that I found intimidating. He
brought me out of my bubble and for that I will always be grateful! Thanks for everything Mr. O! 

Distinguished Student:  McKenzie Joseph                                            Honored Educator:  Mr. Dale Burgman
Parents:  Frank & Sherrie Joseph                                                        Butte High School

Mr. Dale Burgman is the most sarcastic, unorganized, knowledgeable man I have ever met, and those traits have combined to create a wonderful educator. Mr. Burgman makes interactions personable, and has a wonderfully cynical personality which makes learning enjoyable. He would be disappointed if I took this tribute too seriously, so instead I wrote a Japanese Tanka to commemorate our years
together:
                          Congress takes the blame
                          For the fire that we did
                          Not start, but fueled
                          While destiny defends growth,
                          Manumission passes tests.
His influence cannot be thoroughly summarized, but get to know him, and I am sure you’ll appreciate him as much as I do.

Distinguished Student:  Molly Nelson                                                  Honored Educator:  Ms. Colleen Mandic
Parents:  Erik & Kathleen Nelson                                                       East Middle School

One of the teachers who stood out to me the most was Mrs. Mandic because she was sincere, generous, and she taught me how to challenge myself. I had a difficult time in eighth grade because I had just transferred to East and was worried that I wouldn’t be able to make new friends. However, Mrs. Mandic really helped me feel welcome by being sincerely concerned about my well-being. Not only did
she help me perfect my sewing, but she also took the time to share her words of wisdom. One of the most important lessons she taught me was to challenge myself to rise above the average. She is a teacher that I will never forget. Thank you Mrs. Mandic.

Distinguished Student:  Marie Michelotti                                                  Honored Educator:  Ms. Joana Benach
Parents:  Michelle & Tom Michelotti                                                        Butte High School

Ever since I took her eighth grade Spanish class, Mrs. Joana Benach has been a positive influence on my life. She has taught me throughout all of high school, but to me and to many of her students she is so much more than just a teacher. She is always there for us, and her energy and passion are inspirational. She taught me one of the most important lessons that I will ever learn. That is she taught me to not fear failure because it is through our failures that we learn the most. She has pushed me to try harder and reach higher than I ever thought I could, and for that she will always hold a special place in my heart.

Distinguished Student:  Clay Dean                                                             Honored Educator:  Mr. Keith Miller
Parents:  Jon & Vicky Dean                                                                      East Middle School

I first met Mr. Keith Miller when I entered East middle School. East Middle School was a scary place coming from a boy who had only gone to an elementary school with eight other boys. I was scared of not being accepted and not being able to make friends. Mr. Miller was always a guy that had a joyous attitude and awesome humor. He made me feel comfortable at East which allowed me to make new friends and grow into the outgoing person I am today.  Some of my best memories of Mr. Miller are his undefeated championships at the ice cream eating contest, his funny witty jokes, and his ability to speak over the intercom without a single person understanding what he said. Thanks, Keith.

Distinguished Student:  Michelle Anderson                                             Honored Educator:  Mr. Mike Kujawa
Parents:  Eleodora & Jerry Anderson                                                     Butte High School

A single framed quote decorates Mr Kujawa's desk. "I am not a teacher, but an awakener," spoken by Robert Frost and very fitting for what I've seen and experienced for the past four years.  Mr. Kujawa is one of the most hardworking, caring, yet grounded people I have ever met, and has supported numerous students in awakening those traits within themselves.  I am thankful to know him not only as a teacher, but as an individual.  Since meeting him, I’ve faced struggles that ranged from minor difficulties to life altering events - for all of which he’s been there.  I can’t say enough about his character or how much I dislike Pink Floyd’s The Wall now.  Mr. Kujawa is a wonderful person, and a profound awakener.  Thanks!

Distinguished Student:  Carlee Johnson                                                     Honored Educator:  Ms. Heather Ricketts
Parents:  Ron & Susan Johnson                                                                Hillcrest Elementary School

I had the pleasure of having Heather Ricketts as my sixth grade teacher at Hillcrest Elementary School. Her willingness to help others and her true compassion for students sets her apart from other teachers in my educational career. Mrs. Ricketts provides unwavering support and understands the needs of her students, as well as taking the time to recognize her students on a personal level. In regards to education, Mrs. Ricketts creates alternative ways to learn in addition to teaching students to think outside of the box. She made learning more enjoyable by showing her love of teaching in each lesson. Mrs. Ricketts is an inspirational role model who made a difference in my education. 

Distinguished Student:  Lindsey Parvinen                                                    Honored Educator:  Ms. Brenda Floreen
Parents:  Kevin & Pamela Parvinen                                                            Butte High School

When walking down the halls of the fourth floor, Mrs. Floreen is a teacher I always see with a smile on her face. Mrs. Floreen knows how to teach math in a way where I know I will understand it. I can always count on her to explain any questions I have and because of her, I feel much more prepared for college. She's very easy to talk to so I know I can always go to her if I have any problems.  She's the type of teacher I can have a conversation with inside and outside of school. Not only is she interested in my eduction life, but she is also interested in my life outside of school which makes me understand that she is a teacher who truly cares about her students.

Distinguished Student:  Allison Metz                                                    Honored Educator:  Ms. Tina Powers
Parents:  John Metz, Amie Badovinac                                                 Margaret Leary Elementary School

Tina Powers helped me become the student I am today. She was not only my favorite teacher at Margaret Leary, but she also helped me to achieve my goals and become an all-around better student. She encouraged me and many other students to strive to learn something new
every day. Ms. Powers always made my peers and I feel good about ourselves, and she made sure that we were trying our hardest on a daily basis. Tina is not only a warmhearted and enjoyable person, but she is also a superb, stern, and patient teacher. 

Distinguished Student:  Kori Reilly                                                         Honored Educator:  Ms. Dorothy Joyce
Parents:  Kellie & Martin Hicks & Kelly Reilly                                       Butte High School

Most people don’t know that learning in a school environment is difficult for some students. My accomplishments and successes
have not come easy. I have struggled and worked extra hard to reach every goal. Ms. Joyce has stood by my side guiding me and never gave up on me even when times were rough. Ms. Joyce is always there to calm my anxiety and give me hope. Ms. Joyce makes students believe that they can accomplish their goals, and she stands behind her students. She believes each student is worth the battle.  She never lets her students give up; she pushes and encourages students when they need it most.

Distinguished Student:  Levin Mullaney                                                     Honored Educator:  Mr. Lloyd Magnuson
Parents:  Butch & Pam Mullaney                                                              East Middle School

Mr. Magnuson doesn’t simply teach science; he lives science, which is evident through his earth shuttle program, star parties, rocket club, and posters not only on the walls of his classroom but also the ceiling.  I really got to know Mr. Magnuson through rocket club, where we’ve shared many experiences: trudging through mud and snow; locking keys in cars; flying some good rockets; and watching others go up in flames. Oops! Mr. Magnuson has held me to such a high standard that it even makes me a little nervous, which is why I tell my parents I’d rather disappoint them than him.  Going beyond the classroom, he was the first teacher to solidify my interest in science and has
shown me how to apply science to the real world. He has provided me with many opportunities to explore different paths, ranging from visiting rocket testing sites to networking with his past students. Mr. Magnuson has given me his greatest gift: his time, which is why he is not a person I just like, but he is a person I truly respect.

Distinguished Student:  Keegan Whelan                                                         Honored Educator:  Ms. Lana Whelan
Parents:  Bob & Lana Whelan                                                                       Butte High School

My mom can't cook, but after having her as a teacher three of my four years at Butte High, I know she can teach. My mom has taught
me to work with what you are given, and to meet new challenges head on. When my swim season started junior year and I was without a coach, my mom put in time every day to coach me and push me to do my best. My mom has always pressured me to take hard classes saying that it will benefit me more in the long run, and she always has been there to help me when I need it. I think her commitment to everything she does makes my mom an exceptional teacher.

Distinguished Student:  Cortney Walsh                                                           Honored Educator:  Ms. Jean Perusich
Parents:  Janeen & Dan Walsh                                                                       East Middle School

I was one of the lucky few who had Mrs. Perusich as both my middle school reading teacher and band teacher. She took me under her wing, nurtured my creativity, and inspired me with her love of music.  Mrs. Perusich created an accepting environment for those of us who didn’t fit in; all of my problems and struggles seemed to disappear the moment I walked through her door. Conducting a mock trial for Lizzy Borden is one of my favorite memories with Mrs. Perusich. Some people exude love as naturally as the sun gives off heat, and
Mrs. Perusich is one of those people.

Distinguished Student:  Rachel Parks                                                                Honored Educator:  Ms. Janeen Walsh
Parents:  Brian & Margarita Park                                                                     Butte High School

Ms. Walsh is my favorite teacher because she is a realistic, outgoing, and kind teacher. While she gets classwork done and gives assignments, she also knows when to give her students a little break. As a drama teacher as well as an English teacher, Ms. Walsh has a certain quirk about her. Being a drama teacher means knowing how to make self-conscious teenagers feel comfortable about being a little
weird. Constantly asking, "Was that kind?" Ms. Walsh designed her class to be fun but never rude. She would even jump into an activity
herself to make others feel less awkward. Speaking as a quieter kid, it is quite refreshing to be in a class that requires students to actively
participate in order to succeed.

Distinguished Student:  Miranda Bishop                                                             Honored Educator:  Ms. Diana Kujawa
Parents:  Teresa Henrich Bishop, Jeremy & Jenny Bishop                                   Butte High School

I feel I should preface this by saying it is hard to feel confident about something you have written when the one person you want to
proof read it, can’t.  Although, the fact that I am upset about this shows how much I appreciate Diana Kujawa.  Diana is truly, what every student hopes a teacher will be.  She is kind, intelligent, and caring, but she still has a hilarious spunk that almost terrifies me.  It is through this personality that she has taught me how to be more confident and how to utilize this trait. I am honored to have been able to have Diana as a mentor, and I hope to continue gaining knowledge from her.

Distinguished Student:  Caileigh Norman                                                         Honored Educator:  Ms. Debbie Richards
Parents:  Stephanie & Kevin Norman                                                             Margaret Leary Elementary School

Looking back and thinking about people that have helped impact and shape me into the person I am today, the first person that comes to mind is Debbie Richards. Debbie is a hard-working and dedicated teacher that I had the privilege of having when I was in grade school. She always pushed me to work my hardest and achieve my goals. Debbie was a patient and kind teacher that took the time to help each and every student she had when they needed it. I appreciate the fact that I was able to have Debbie as a teacher because helped me to become the student I am today.

Distinguished Student:  Katelyn Dobbins                                                             Honored Educator:  Ms. Kris Mengon
Grandparents: Henrietta & James Snell                                                               Butte High School

Beginning my Freshman year, I was quiet and overly shy - I was the textbook definition of an introvert; however, with gentle encouragement from Mrs. Mengon I was allowed to break from my shell and now I'm anything but shy. Her approachable personality and enthusiastic
mannerisms allow any student to easily connect with her and actually learn something. Even beyond my Freshman year, I continuously returned to her classroom for guidance in mathematics and she's always been there to answer my questions to the best of her ability. She's truly a remarkable woman and teacher that means a lot to me.

Distinguished Student:  Claire Manson                                                                Honored Educator:  Ms. Louisa Tierney
Parents:  Dan & Kristen Manson                                                                        East Middle School

I have had the pleasure of knowing Ms. Tierney for many years both through family connections and my time participating in the Teens in Partnership Program. Throughout this time, Ms. Tierney has continuously been a role model to me. Although I didn’t personally have her as a teacher, I watch in awe and admiration her kind, compassionate, and loving treatment of her students. She never loses her cool even on the hard days, and provides endless support to each and every one of the students she comes in contact with. She has helped me to grow as a person through TIP each year, and inspires me to aspire towards her outstanding character qualities.

Distinguished Student:  Lakyn Ludwick                                                             Honored Educator:  Mr. Dave Henrich
Parents:  Jim & Donel Ludwick                                                                         Hillcrest Elementary School

Mr. Henrich is a great teacher. He genuinely cares about all of his students and is willing to go the extra mile to help every student succeed. Mr. Henrich has helped me learn different principals that has helped me long after I left his classroom. He was always calm and collected in a room full of crazy sixth graders. He prepares all of his students academically, mentally, and socially to move onto middle school, high school, and eventually college. Mr. Henrich has truly had a great impact on my education long after leaving Hillcrest Elementary.

Distinguished Student:  Britney Hendrickson                                                            Honored Educator:  Ms. Colleene Fogarty
Parents:  Brian and Jammie Hendrickson                                                                 Butte High School

Mrs.Fogarty is one of the best teachers I've ever had. She is bright, caring, thoughtful, generous, funny, honest, compassionate, positive, and optimistic. Mrs. Fogarty was my teacher during my junior year for Chemistry and again my senior year during which I was her lab aid. As my chemistry teacher, Mrs. Fogarty was always there to help. She provided clear and easy to understand lessons, which made learning chemistry far less of a challenge. When I started helping Mrs. Fogarty after school with cleaning up after labs and such, Mrs. Fogarty became a trusted adult that I could talk to. Whenever I need someone to talk to whether it's school, work, family, or friends I know I can count on Mrs. Fogarty.

Distinguished Student:  Kolby Tretheway                                                              Honored Educator:  Mr. Tom Pomroy
Parents:  Richard & Kim Tretheway                                                                      Retired East Middle School

I chose Mr. Pomroy for my favorite teacher because he had a big impact on my life, in my first years of middle school. He taught me many things such as, good study habits, not to take life so seriously, and to never give up despite that adversity that you may face. I remember how close Tom and I became over the year I had him as a teacher. Not only did I see him as a teacher, but also as a friend. I trust tom and felt comfortable discussing any predicament I may have found myself in that week. Mr. Pomroy and I use to bet who would win the football games every Sunday, and the loser would have to buy the winner’s lunch at their favorite restaurant. Even though I lost every time he would still buy my lunch. Overall Mr. Pomroy is a great guy and one of the most influential people for me, not only in school but in life.
 
Distinguished Student:  Brittney Forsman                                                             Honored Educator:  Ms. Kelly Rose
Parents:  Patricia & Eric Nyberg                                                                          Emerson Elementary School
I have had many great educators throughout the years and my fifth grade teacher, Mrs. Kelly Rose, has definitely been one of them. From the first day of class I could tell that she truly enjoyed teaching. She always found new ways to incorporate fun into learning because she really cared about her students' success. Today, she has the same welcoming attitude, enthusiasm, and dedication that made her such a fantastic teacher. She has changed my life both academically as well as personally and I am honored to call her not only a teacher, but a
friend.

Distinguished Student:  Carolyn Egervary                                                             Honored Educator:  Ms. Amber Walter
Parents:  Mary-Jo & Tibor Egervary                                                                    Butte High School

Ms.Walter is my current anatomy teacher, as well as my HOSA (Health Occupation Student Association) advisor. Being interested in the medical field, her class is my favorite! She works really hard to give our classes hands-on experiences, such as dissecting real animal hearts and learning to take other students' blood pressure. Ms.Walter also really cares about HOSA, and finds interesting opportunities for us to participate in. This has helped me explore the medical field and realize how much I love it! Overall, Ms.Walter is an understanding
teacher who really cares about her students, and she has really helped me realize my potential. 
 
Distinguished Student:  Gavin Sison                                                                        Honored Educator:  Ms. Terri Belke
Parents:  Andre & Angela Sison                                                                             BHS Speech & Debate

Until my junior year, I was absolutely inapt at public speaking or essay writing.  Despite having been in speech and debate as an  underclassman, I hadn’t made much progress.  Then, I started up my third season in speech under Terri Belke and suddenly went from placing towards the bottom straight to the top by unlocking potential that I thought was non-existent.  With her gentle, but progressive guidance, I qualified for two different national speech tournaments and learned so much along the way.  Terri Belke is a miracle worker of the best kind and knows how to look great while doing it. 

Distinguished Student:  Erin Olivieri                                                                    Honored Educator:  Pat Kissell
Parents:  Vincent & Michelle Olivieri                                                                  Principal West Elementary School

Hundreds of thousands of students every year are told to pack up their rooms and bid their friends farewell. In the year 2007, I was one of
those students, soon to make the trek from intensely competitive New York to conversely cooperative Montana. Mr. Pat Kissell, the principal of West Elementary, stood above and beyond at that time, lending a needed helping hand at every turn, from easing the acclimation into a new educational paradigm to pushing for my involvement in the first county Hall of Fame competition, thereby laying the foundation for subsequent success. Putting the “Pal” in Principal.