Page 5 - HEF CoE 2021
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t the Helena Education Foundation, we encourage and support innovation. The 2020/2021 school year gave the staff and board of directors of the Foundation the opportunity to put
innovative thinking into action. We are grateful for our public school students and educators for reaching out to us with ways we could
be more effective in supporting them and we marvel at their exceptional ideas.
This past year, music and PE teachers came together to find
safe solutions to provide equal educational instruction for all
students—at home and in the classroom; and they approached
us to fund the Specialists Backpacks program—backpacks
containing equipment for each K-5th grader in the district.
Community members approached the Foundation as well,
seeking ways to demonstrate their appreciation for the extra work
and stress our educators were experiencing. We organized more
than 80 volunteers to send hand-written, personal thank-you
letters to every district employee—1,100 in all. We moved our
Great Conversations event to Zoom and provided a series of free
Issues Institutes virtually as well—including a conversation with former Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul; an enlightening presentation by Jono Drake about QAnon, and an otherworldly talk about the Mars Mission by NASA’s Dr. Chris McKay.
This year’s Celebration of Excellence program looks different as well, with more Distinguished Students and Educators than ever before—all of whom were dedicated students throughout their academic journey and who weathered the unique challenges of the past year to make it to this point. We are enormously proud of the students’ accomplishments and are humbled by, and grateful for
the tenacity, flexibility and dedication of our educators who reinvented their teaching strategies to accommodate distant and in-person instruction, providing quality education and support during this singular time in our history.
—COREY CRUM, President, Helena Education Foundation Board of Directors

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