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Students at the Horizon Colony are thrilled with the additions to their library thanks to a Cut Bank Education Foundation and Alumni Association mini-grant. Teacher Kim Winkowitsch submitted the grant to purchase books for her students since the colony teachers rely heavily on the Glacier County library to provide reading materials for their schools. With the closure of the library for the past year, that source for their students was not available.

The Cut Bank Education Foundation & Alumni Association (CBEFAA) has been working hard this last year, often times behind the scenes, to support the students, staff and facilities of the Cut Bank Public School District No. 15. 

Typically, when a person thinks about the CBEFAA, they only think about one of two of areas of our focus, but the CBEFAA board of directors has worked hard to create a diverse method to positively impact the schools in as many ways as possible. 

In the last year, we welcomed two new board members, Ashley Kimmet and JC Seewald. Ashley and JC join Shelley Larson, Treasure Berkram, John Brown, Brian Kavanagh, Scott Gage, Joyce Lewis, Chelsey Brown, Lisa VandenBos, Wade Johnson, Darcy Hibbs, and Steven Hjartarson as the current CBEFAA Board of Directors. 

The CBEFAA mission is to provide a mechanism to raise and accumulate funds to develop, foster and encourage excellence in education. Currently, we accomplish this mission by focusing on three major areas:

Students

 We offer generous scholarship opportunities to Cut Bank graduates and alumni throughout their post-secondary education. We also host the Missoula Children’s Theatre, organize the all-class reunion, assist with school BBQs and many other areas, such as providing financial support to bring in speakers for the students.

Staff

We work hard to support the teachers and staff of the Cut Bank schools through our $100 mini-grant program that every teacher and aide is automatically pre-ap-proved for at the start of each school year. Teachers and aides can use their mini-grants to purchase supplement materials for their classroom at no cost to them. We also encouraging prospective teachers to apply for vacant positions by offering generous signing bonuses.

Facilities

We recognize that maintaining the safety, functionality and appearance of the school facilities is an important task that the administration has done a great job staying on top of. We are proud to be able to assist the Cut Bank School district financially on a case-by-case basis with certain improvement projects that will benefit the students and staff, such as installing new signs at Anna Jeffries elementary school and purchasing the new football field lights as our 2020-21 projects.

An area that the CBEFAA has focused specifically on this last year to address is the increasing teacher shortage. To encourage CBHS graduates to consider teaching as a career, we have increased the scholarship offerings that are specific to pursuing a teaching degree. We currently administer the following scholarships to CBHS graduating seniors that are specific to education degrees:

• Elma and David Epstein Memorial for Future in Education $1,000 Scholarship; 

•H.C. Davis Family $1,000 Scholarship;

•The newly established CBEFAA Teachers of Tomorrow Scholarship which is $6,000 paid out over four years. 

For CBHS alumni, we administer the following annual scholarships that are specific to education degrees:

•Cut Bank Education Association (CBEA) $500 Scholarship; 

•Elma and David Epstein Memorial for Future in Education $1,000 Scholarship; 

• The recently established CBEFAA Teachers of Tomorrow $1,000 Scholarship which is geared toward college students switching their major to education or a CBHS alumni who chooses to go back to school to pursue a career in teaching later in life. 

In addition to these amazing scholarships, this year we are excited to begin offering signing bonuses to newly hired teachers in the Cut Bank School District. We are offering a $2,000 signing bonus to non-CBHS Alumni and a $4,000 signing bonus to CBHS Alumni upon being selected as the successful candidate for a fulltime teaching position in the Cut Bank School District #15 by the Cut Bank Schools board of trustees.

After having to cancel last year’s All-Class Reunion, the CBEFAA is excited to be host the rescheduled All-Class Reunion this summer from July 29-August 1. We look forward to being able to see all of the Wolves get together this summer!

Be sure to check out our website www.cutbankalumni.com and Facebook page ‘Cut Bank Education Foundation & Alumni Association’ for more information, and please feel free to contact CBEFAA Executive Director Amy Overstreet at (406) 873-2229, ext. 125, with any questions or concerns.

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