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The Cut Bank Education Foundation and Alumni Association (CBEFAA) has held its annual Celebrating Success scholarship reception at the end of April since 1997. Unfortunately, this year it was cancelled due to COVID-19.

Typically, at our Celebrating Success reception, we award the graduating senior CBEFAA scholarships, recognize the students’ most influential teacher and recognize community members and school staff that have gone above and beyond to create a positive experience for Cut Bank School District students.

Even though we couldn’t celebrate in person this year, we still wanted to recognize the dedication of three individuals for their long-term commitment to the Cut Bank Schools. Each year the board votes to give the “Going the Extra Distance for Kids” award to a community member that has gone above and beyond for Cut Bank students.

This year the board was thrilled to present the award to Ken “Huggy Bear” Hughes. Anyone who has attended a basketball or football event in Cut Bank over the past 28 years has heard the voice–and howl–of “Huggy Bear.”

Hughes has been a fixture at the scoring bench and the announcer’s booth and called many big wins and as well as disappointing losses during the last nearly three decades. Through it all he has been supportive of the Cut Bank Wolves. We are very thankful for his dedication to the Cut Bank Schools.

The second award the CBEFAA board awards is the “Shining Star” award. Typically, this goes to a Cut Bank Schools staff member who has continuously gone above and beyond the daily requirements of their job and has given a tremendous amount of their off-duty time and attention to the district and its students.

Because we had two highly deserving nominations, we decided it was only right to award “Shining Star” awards to both Jim Gregg and Don Paulson this year.

Gregg taught for over 35 years and was head Cut Bank tennis coach for 39 years! He has always been willing to work in any capacity that is needed, and found ways to help anywhere he could.

Gregg has also been very involved in school tournaments as an excellent clock operator and activities director for Cut Bank Schools. His dedication and positive influence within the district has been an integral part of the success of the Cut Bank Schools and its students, staff, and athletes.

For roughly 46 years, Paulson found himself teaching in front of a classroom of students, as a counselor, principal, assistant basketball coach, head basketball coach and Cut Bank High School Athletic Director organizing sporting events. And he has loved every minute of it.

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