Columbia Falls Heritage Days is a time to celebrate the history of our city. It is also when, as principal, I close the book on the previous school year and focus on the year ahead.
But before I do, I want to say thank you to our community and the outstanding support shown for our students and school. We see community pride in our school on full display through the devoted followers of our sports teams and the tireless efforts of volunteers at many high school activities. This includes the work it takes to produce this week’s Heritage Days Athletic Endowment Auction and also the Academic Endowment event held in the spring.
As a complement to the skill and efforts of our staff, the community’s support can be seen through the achievements of our students at Columbia Falls. In the 2016-17 school year, we celebrated one of the highest graduation rates (88.4 percent) and lowest dropout rates (2.66 percent) in the school’s history. Both numbers were better than the averages for the state and the Flathead Valley.
A few other notable achievements we will remember from 2016-17:
• State championships in volleyball and girls basketball
• 12th consecutive speech and debate state title
• Five divisional titles
• Nine individual state champions
• 28 students earning welding certifications
• 19 Superior ratings at the District Music Festival, including for all six instrumental groups
• More than $3.6 million in scholarships earned by Columbia Falls seniors
• Senior Colin Norick earning the National Elks Most Valuable Student designation
• Anabel Conger and Colin Norick named as the two U.S. Presidential Scholars from Montana.
These are only a few of the reasons I’m proud of our kids, proud of our accomplishments and proud of our community. The faculty and administration at Columbia Falls are looking forward to more of the same in 2017-18. Bleed Blue Columbia Falls.
Scott Gaiser is the principal of the Columbia Falls High School.