Nik Gier, left, and Jay Beagle were presented with Student Recognition awards by the Libby School Board of Trustees. Lauren Thorstenson, not pictured, was also honored.
National Honor Society 2014 inductees back row from left: Tina Smith, Bailie Rosling, Zander…
Members of the Libby High School Class of 1957 recently held their 55-year class reunion. Pi…
W. F. Morrison Principal Diane Rewerts, beginning her first year as the top administrator at…
Editor's note: this is a report from an exercise at Libby Middle School's career day. The students expressed their career goals and we used that information to create a story to instruct them in journalism methods.
Bruce Carrier, member of Masonic Lodge No. 85 in Libby, presents a check for $5,000 from the Montana Masonic Foundation to Kay Randall, the K-12 Librarian for Troy Schools. Troy High School will use the grant funding to purchase 35 Chromebook computers to provide digital media and Internet access to students. Matching grant funds were also provided by Revett Mining Inc.
After some setbacks, Libby school officials are moving ahead with a revised plan to build a kitchen facility that’s expected to result in long-term cost savings for the district.
The Libby School Board on Monday voted 5-2 to approve a roster of athletic coaches for the fall of 2015 that includes controversial boys’ soccer coach Charlie Webster.
Lincoln County is playing host to students from around the world. Three students, from Ecuador, Germany and Spain, are attending Libby High School as part of two different international student exchange programs. Despite their different backgrounds and paths to get to northwest Montana, they arrived with a similar goal: to experience American culture and learn about American life.
A late start Wednesday to the Libby School District school day has some parents complaining about hitches in their morning routines. Classes at both Libby Elementary School and Libby Middle/High School started at 10:15 a.m. Wednesday, two hours later than usual.
Thinking back to her times with her former father-in-law, Ellen Johnston describes Walter F. Morrison as a man with a youthful heart. Known for his practical jokes and commitment to community involvement, it is fitting Morrison had an elementary school named after him 50 years ago.
Troy High’s homecoming week will include a new prize beginning Monday. An elk antler carved by local artist Scott Sorenson will serve as the school’s spirit stick. Each student class will vie for the stick while competing in events during the week.
A pair of Libby Logger athletes were crowned homecoming king and queen Thursday during the high school’s coronation ceremony.
It is homecoming week at Libby High School. Festivities began with Mustache Monday. Students were prompted with the homonymic instruction: “We mustache you to wear a mustache.”
Winters should be warmer and hopefully more studious at Troy Junior High School. A $50,000 grant will be used to purchase a biomass boiler system as part of an ongoing effort to improve the heating and efficiency of the 97-year-old building.
Someone asked Bob Malyevac last year at a class reunion if he was “a dammer.”
Former teacher, Ruthanne Dolezal, was hired on July 17 as the new Kootenai Valley Christian School administrator.
At Monday’s Libby School Board meeting, recently-appointed Superintendent Craig Barringer presented a 90-day plan outlining his aim to understand, communicate with and introduce himself to the community.
Sam Moreau, Microsoft design director, donated a total of $71,500 to organizations in Libby last week.
The Western News staff
As his 46-year career in education comes to an end, Kirby Maki is finishing off a long to-do list for Libby School District’s incoming superintendent Craig Barringer.
Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) are incredibly important in the education of today’s youth.
High school dropout and graduation rates in Lincoln County are being compared as heads of education send their most recent numbers to the state for analysis.
While Lincoln County has had a higher graduation rate than the Montana average since 2009, administrators are still keeping an eye on dropout rates, which are considered to be a one-year “snapshot” of graduation rates.
Graduation rates – which have risen statewide in the last five years – count students who complete a district’s graduation requirements in four years or less from the time a student is in the 9th grade. Dropout rates count students who were enrolled in school on the date of the previous year’s October enrollment count or at some time during the previous school year and were not enrolled on the date of the current school year October count.
Because graduating classes are becoming smaller in Lincoln County, it can mean that dropout rates fluctuate dramatically from year to year, Lincoln County educators said.
In the 2011-12 school year, the dropout rate for Libby High School was 1.8, but went to 4.5 percent in 2012-13. The dropout rate in Troy also rose from 2.1 percent in 2011-12 to 3.7 percent in 2012-13. However the dropout rate at Lincoln County High School in Eureka went the other direction, going from 4.1 percent in 2011-12 down to 1.6 in 2012-13.
This was in contrast to a county graduation rate that had climbed from the low 80s up to the 90s by 2012.
The goal for every school is to keep that number from sinking back down.
Libby High School assistant principal Jim Germany said the 2013-14 dropout rate “could be a scary sight” when the numbers come out at the beginning of next year.
“This year’s class is going to be interesting,” Germany said. “Sometimes kids go through rough times, rough patches, but even if you just struggle with school we can intervene. We have a safety net built in for struggling. You have to work pretty hard not to graduate.”
Germany said Lincoln County was working with a population that was in transition.
“There’s a huge turnover in our population. Any kid that moves into our district, they become part of our data,” Germany said. “The frustrating part is that they can be here for a month and then move to another area. If they don’t enroll in another school, it is on us.”
Troy High School Principal Jacob Francom said dropout rates from year to year could show high levels of volatility because class sizes have become smaller.
“There are a myriad of different reasons (students drop out),” Francom said.
Like Libby, Troy was an area that students moved in and out of – partly because parents had found and then lost employment. Sometimes it was a child of divorced parents trying out a temporary living situation with one parent, only to decide it wasn’t working out and then moved back in with the other parent, Francom said.
Denise Juneau, superintendent Montana Office of Public Instruction, said Lincoln County had a high poverty level and a lack of employment, but education staff were doing a good job with the resources they had.
“Seeing what those schools are producing is inspiring, “ Juneau said. Both the dropout rate and the graduation rate were numbers that were important to look at when schools were examining how efforts to graduate students were working, she said.
Since Montana had adopted a longitudinal data system in the last few years, it was easier to track the transfer of students from one school to another. That means future data is expected to be more accurate, Juneau said.
Graduation Matters Montana, in which Lincoln County participated, was working because it was flexible to each county, Juneau said.
“It’s done at a grassroots level,” Juneau said. “It works because it is locally designed and locally implemented - it is not one size fits all. It is about making sure that diploma means something to that student and that they are ready for the next stage in their life.”
Schools with students who graduate after the age of 18 do not receive funding by the state for those students, Juneau said. Libby has had a fair share of graduates who were 19 years old.
Juneau was pushing a bill that would give funding to high schools that were keeping high school students on for an extra year so they could graduate.
Juneau is also bringing back another bill that would raise the legal age a student could leave school, from 16 to 18.
However, Lincoln County High School Principal Joel Graves said he wasn’t sure that would make a difference because students could just opt to be homeschooled without there being any follow-through.
“Most of the students who do (drop out), do so because their parents don’t support education,” Graves said.
Since the launch of the Graduation Matters Montana in 2009, Montana’s high school dropout rate has decreased from 5 percent to 3.6 percent in 2013. During the same period, the statewide graduation rate has increased from 80.7 percent to 84.4 percent.
Four high school seniors from Troy and Libby will soon be graduating to higher levels of athletic competition in their various fields of play.
With a 4.12 grade-point, 10 college credits and $25,000 in scholarships to his name, Troy High School Class of 2014 Valedictorian Nathan Olds spoke to his classmates about what he believes to be a very important topic — Lord of the Rings.
er, Dr. Vince Huntsberger, graduated from Libby High School in 1997. Huntsberger, now an emergency room physician, received a full-ride scholarship to play football at University of Montana where he won a national championship in 2001. He began his speech by congratulating the Class of 2014 and then told stories of his past high school experiences.
Former students and teachers of McCormick School revisited their past when a time capsule buried in 1989 was unearthed June 27.
Troy School District recently received three grants. The district was awarded a $500 grant from Wal-Mart and a pair of $5,000 grants from the Lowe’s Toolbox for Education program.
Seniors from Troy High School and Libby High School were recently awarded scholarships as they make their ways out into the world.
Libby School Board members approved Monday a lease agreement between Libby Food Pantry and Libby School District.
The Libby High School band and choir participated in the District Music Festival earlier this month in Kalispell.
The third quarter honor roll for Libby Middle/High School consisted of 175 students. Students by grade are:
Two Libby High School graduates who left Libby and excelled in their respected careers will be honored at 7 p.m. Monday during the Honor Society’s Induction Ceremony at Ralph Tate Gymnasium.
A pair of school fundraising efforts is underway in Troy, and early returns are strong.
The technology push at Libby Elementary School is paying off.
Adam Neisess, of the band The Munchkins performed Tuesday during the Talent Show. Other band members included Wyatt Postlethwaite, Morgan Wilkins, Skyler Higareda and Jason Schnackenberg. The band finished second. Billy Topaz performed a routine made famous by comedian Bill Cosby. In the third photo, Anthony Dewey’s original drama “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian” won third place. A total of 14 acts participated in the annual talent contest held at the Memorial Center. The competition was won by Staci Regh, who sang and played the piano. Gabby Deleo emceed the event that was attended by 400-plus.
The Libby Elementary School Carnival was the brainchild of Assistant Principal Scott Beagle and the Parents Council to further behavioral lessons and improve attendance, but it turned out to accomplish that and more.