May 21, 2018

This is Not Normal!

Another school shooting resulting in student and staff deaths.  This is not normal!  Any words I try to set forth about this senseless violence seem hollow and trite.  I can’t think of what to say.  I only know how I feel:  my heart is heavy and my mind is reeling.  We all know that schools should be sanctuaries for safety and security.  For whatever reason however, no organization is immune to the stark realities of violence in today’s society.

With that being said, I think there are things we can do within our schools that make a tragedy unlikely.  It has to do with relationships, with taking care of each other, and with treating ALL who walk through our doors with respect.  A safe, secure and nurturing environment is essential, and so are the trusting relationships and organizational pride that serve to guarantee it.  As we enjoy these last nine days of school, thank you for continuing to foster those relationships; for making all feel heard, cared for and nurtured.

If you need help talking to your students or if parents reach out to you for help, the National Association of School Psychologists has published:  Talking to Children About Violence: Tips for Parents and Teachers.

Lastly, as everyone plays a critical role in school safety and in the safety of our community, please continue to empower students and staff to say something to a trusted adult anytime and every time something is amiss, or if there are fears or concerns. Assure them that we will listen and act.  Any threat to our students, staff or schools, should be taken seriously and reported to the Great Falls Police Department immediately.

As this is supposed to be the time of year to celebrate success and accomplishments, let’s continue to focus on what is right and good in our world, while sharpening our protective and vigilant mindset.  We can and must do both.

Take care.  Be safe.  Stay well.


In-District Teacher Transfer Information

Current openings will be posted on Thursday, May 24, 2018 and will close on Thursday, May 31, 2018 at 5:00 p.m.

Check the on-line application system (Applitrack Link To In-District Job Postingsfor a list of all current openings.  

If you are interested in applying for these openings please hand-deliver your In-District Transfer Form to the Human Resources Office to meet the deadline.

Please be reminded that once a teacher accepts a position via the transfer process, that teacher cannot apply for another transfer position that year.


Fall Print and Graphic Orders 2018-2019 School Year

All Fall orders need to be titled as “Fall” for the due date. That is for both the Print Center orders and Graphic orders.

Graphic orders for the 2018-2019 school year that must be created need to be submitted no later than June 30th. Any submissions beyond then may not be returned until approximately early October. Please try to prepare for the new school year early so we can get your orders done on time. These orders may be sent in starting now.

Fall Print orders CAN NOT be submitted electronically. With having such a high volume of orders for the fall, we do not want to risk any orders being lost in the system. If you have any questions or concerns please call 268-6051.


Longevity Awards & Retirees

On May 16, 2018, the Retirement/Longevity Reception was held honoring those individuals with 25, 30, 35, 40 and 43 years of service.  Those individuals who are retiring at the end of this school year were also recognized.  All of these individuals are mentioned below.

25 years

Christine Baroch, Brad Barringer, Michael Beck, Daniel Brady, Lynette Copp, Thomas Cubbage, Gregory Dart, Phillip Davis, Joan Douglas, Cristi Fought, Cindy Gordon, Debra Hartman,  Lisa Hering, Terri Halverson, Bruce Hilbig, Genelle Hocevar, John Hoenjet, Kathleen Howard, Eunice Krebs, Philip Kumm, Carie Magers, Scott Mayer, Josy Mclean, Michelle Meredith, Lorna Nelson, Michael Reitz, Maureen Scott, Patricia Stratton, Beth Thomas, Tammie Ulstad, Dan Wilkins

30 years

Gregory Clement, Marilyn Cron, Robert Davey, Brenda Heminger, Paula Hruska, Teresa Jones, Michelle Kelly, Gary Lowery, Laura Matteson, Carole McKittrick, Drew Uecker, Ruth Uecker, Josephine Williams

35 years

Charla Bunker, Terri Dahl

40 years 

Toni Bender, Laurie Pipinich

43 years 

Velma Jordan

Honored Retirees

Alana Adkins, Nancy Anderson, Sandra Beattie, Sara Buley, Kathleen Carlstad, Debra Champion-McCarty, Gregory Clement, Marilyn Cron,  Gary DeGooyer, Janice Dodds, Georgianne Fish, Cynthia George, Rayanne Ghekiere, Bonnie Haman, Tom Hauer, Kathleen Heusel, Donna Hill, Genelle Hocevar, Brenda Huston, Kathleen Jackson, Bonnie Jensen, Karen Jensen, Edward Johnson, Teresa Jones, Steven Krogstad, Jay Luchsinger, Laura Matteson, Mary Jane Mayernik, Belva McCracken, Andrea Meyer, Lorna Nelson, Harry North, Rebecca O’Donnell, Pamela Oleson, Laure Pipinich, Patricia Reagor, Rod Schlecht, Rebecca Schlund, Diane Shick, Collette Watson, Ellen Widhalm, Mitzi Wood, Michelle Yoder


Loenbro Color Me Well 5K Fun Run

Great Falls Children's Receiving Home logoJoin us for the 3rd annual Color Me Well 5K Fun Run, sponsored by PayneWest Insurance and BlueCross BlueShield.  The proceeds benefit the Great Falls Children’s Receiving Home.  For more information please call 406-453-1542.  Please register online at

When:  Saturday, August 11, 2018
Where:  1900 32nd Ave. NE, Black Eagle, MT  59414
Time:  10am Registration; 11am Race Starts
Pre-registration Cost:  $20 for adults, $10 ages 6-12, $5 t-shirt (5 and under)
Race Day Registration:  $25 for adults, $15 ages 6-12, $5 t-shirt (5 and under)


picture of grad hat and diploma

Lesley University Graduate Program in Great Falls

Starts Fall 2018!

Integrated Teaching through the Arts Curriculum & Instruction, M.Ed.

Come and See Final Projects
created by the students in the Great Falls Cohort
Saturday, June 9th         12:30 – 1:15pm!
Great Falls High School    Rm. 104

Program is designed for all K-12 educators
Project based – no GRE required
Skills that transfer to your everyday lessons!
Move up on the Salary Schedule as you go!
Financial aid and payment plans are available.
Regionally and nationally accredited
Financial Aid Counselor to assist Student Loan Process!
Deferred Student Loan payment 6 months after completion of your degree!
Nineteen weekends total! The entire program is completed in less than two years
$5000 Loan Forgiveness is available!              $50 application fee waiver!

Face-To-Face teaching one weekend a month: Saturday & Sunday 8am – 5pm

Contact: Cathy Kuntz


Montana Institute on Educational Technology (MIET) logoDon’t miss out on the 2018 Montana Institute on Educational Technology Tech Days! Join your colleagues from across the state for two days of learning about educational technology, with new sessions and new facilitators! Come away with ideas for your classroom, new skills to enhance your practice, and a network of professionals to call your own. Be sure to visit our vendor booths for the latest advances in technology.

There is still time to register, to be held on June 12-13, 2018.

Registration is $135 per person and includes lunch if registered by June 5.

Participants can earn up to 15 OPI renewal units. Graduate credits and CEUs are available for an additional cost.


Swim lesson registration set to take place at the Great Falls High Pool.

Due to construction on the campus, The Great Falls High Pool will be offering two 2 week sessions of swim lessons this summer.  Sessions will begin on June 4th and June 18th .  One half hour classes will be offered from 9 AM until noon in the morning session and from 6-7 PM  in the evening session.  Classes run Monday –Thursdays. Cost is $40 for ages 5 and up, $45 for ages 4 and under.

Registration will take place at the pool office from 4-7 PM on the following dates:
May 14-18
May 21-24
May 29- 31

For more information contact Bob Stingley at 268-6281,
Or Julie Anderson at 268-6266,


North Western Energy logo
NorthWestern Energy Event

What:  Beyond the Dam, concert & bike ride event
When:  Friday, June 8 and Saturday, June 9
Why: To share dam safety messages with the public
Where:  Heritage Park (inside Giant Springs State Park) in Great Falls, MT

For the second year we are excited to sponsor this companywide signature event, “Beyond the Dam.” This event will be held in Great Falls, due to the great trail access around several of our hydro-electric facilities.

If you’ve never been to these facilities – this is your chance to get unprecedented access! The bike route takes you across Black Eagle and depending upon your skill level – Rainbow and Cochrane Dams. There is a beginner, intermediate and advanced route.  The intermediate and advanced rides will have timing chips and support at the first aid booths from Heed Energy Drinks out of Whitefish, Montana.  Learn more about the bike ride and register here: . Not a biker? You can still join us in the fun by helping staff the event or coming to the pre-event.

New this year – June 8th, beginning at 5 p.m. there will be a concert at Giant Springs Park with opening act F.O.G., followed by the well-known Bop-A-Dips from 7-9:30 p.m.  The music will conclude with a fireworks display that you won’t want to miss. Join us for a great night in Heritage Park. You’re welcome to pack in your own dinner, cooler or picnic, just leave the glass and dogs at home!  Don’t forget a chair.

As you can imagine an event of this size requires a small army of volunteers to pull off – and we would love to have more support! If you’re interested in learning more about how you might be able to help, contact Heidi Hockett at 406-590-1803 or by email at

Help us spread the word! Invite your family and friends.  Invite friends from the gym.  Invite your neighbors. Please share the event at NorthWestern’s Facebook page or point people to:

All race proceeds benefit the River’s Edge Trail to help improve the trails around the Missouri River.


Retirement Celebration
East Middle School logo

Come join us in celebration of Laurie Pipinich, Marilyn Cron, Steve Krogstad, Mary Jan Mayernik and Bonnie Jensen and their retirement at 2:30 in the East Rams Library, May 23rd.



C.M. Russell High School Retirement Tea

Green Charles M. Russell High School logo


You are cordially invited to C.M.Russell High School ‘s 2018 Retirement Tea honoring Sara Buley, Brenda Huston, Terri Jones, and Velma Jordan  for their years of dedication and service to the students of CMR on  May 23rd at 2:40p.m. ~ CMR Cafeteria



You are invited to Laurie Matteson’s Retirement BBQBBQ SpatulaBBQ kabobs

Join us to honor Laurie’s 30 years of teaching at Lincoln Elementary with GFPS!
Let’s send her off with a lot of love to her new adventure in Ethiopia.

Date:  Wednesday, May 30th
Time:  4-6pm
Place:  Lincoln Gym


Retirement for Kathie Heusel

May 22nd, 2018
Good Time Charles Banquet room


Calling all BOOKWORMS to Cindy George’s Retirement Celebration

green worm sitting on a stack of books, reading a book

After 33 years with Great Falls Public Schools, Cindy George (Districtwide Library/Media Assistant) is closing one chapter and opening a new one. 

Please help us celebrate on the following date and time:
When: Thursday – June 28, 2018
Time: 3:00 pm
Where: District Office Building – Aspen Conf. Room