After 36 years with Cut Bank Schools as a teacher, coach, principal, and activities director, Don Paulson, right, has retired! “Mr. Paulson has been a dedicated professional during his long tenure with Cut Bank Public Schools, and he will be missed as a leader, colleague, and most of all as a friend,” said Supt. Wade Johnson. “Everyone at Cut Bank Public Schools wishes Mr. Paulson all the best in a well deserved retirement.” Scott Laird was hired as the new CBHS Athletic Director following Paulson’s retirement.

Most every kid in school will tell you summer is over when the school year begins. For the kids in the Cut Bank School District that day was yesterday, Tuesday, Aug. 27 when the doors of the schools flew open and the hallways and classrooms were busy once again. 

Welcoming those students back to school are 17 new staff members at Cut Bank Schools, one of those being the new principal at Cut Bank High School, Tres Genger.

The new teachers joining him are (in alphabetical order): Megan Adams-Middle School Physical Education, Beverly Arguelles-Special Education at Anna Jeffries Elementary School, Teri Berg-Special Education at H.C. Davis Elementary School, Dawes Elwood-Middle School/High School English, Barb Genger-Middle School/High School Math, Jake Jarrett-High School History, Kathy Lindberg-Middle School/High School Band, Renee Lowery-Kindergarten, Nick Luoma-Middle School/High School Physical Education, Stephanie McGrail-2nd Grade, Hailee Pelletier-Middle School/High School English, Aileen Plant-Kindergarten, John Reynolds-4th Grade, Sierra Vasilakes-Elementary Music, Callie Ziegler-2nd Grade and Nathan Ziegler-1st Grade. 

“We are very excited to have a new group teachers joining us this year,” said Wade Johnson, Superintendent of Cut Bank School. “I am looking forward to working with everyone and feel that our new staff will compliment the existing staff very well.”

He added, “I would also like to welcome Tres Genger as our new principal at the high school. He brings with him a wealth of experience and we are fortunate to have him join us. Adding him, means we are back to having two principals, one for the high school and one for the middle school.”

While it might appear that there was not a lot of activity in the schools the last few months, Johnson said nothing could be further from the truth. All summer, maintenance workers, custodians and many members of the staff, kept things humming as they fixed, constructed, cleaned and prepared the schools for the return of the students. 

“Our maintenance team and custodians did a great job getting everything ready for the start of the school year,” Johnson said. “We did a few construction projects over the summer, like the new roof on Anna Jeffries Elementary School over the locker room and the new sidewalks will be redone in front of H.C. Davis on the west end by the office. Coming in September there will be a new high jump area constructed, the tennis courts will be resurfaced and there will be new bleachers at the track.” 

Also doing their part to get ready for the school year, Johnson said, “Barb DeZort has the kitchen ready to go with food ordered and her staff in place. The bus drivers, who have received their annual training, are ready to start getting the students to and from the school. We have a new driver this year, Brenda McDougall and we would like to welcome her as she joins the rest of the drivers who are returning.”

Johnson also shared, “Jere Mayfield and her ‘minions,’ as she calls them, have been busy all summer maintaining our IT system. The wireless system she has put together for us is second to none. She does a great job.”

In addition to that group, Johnson said, “Quinn Kelly sacrificed his summer to get trained for driver education and then taught the class in July and August. This demonstrates extreme dedication to students. Cut Bank Schools are very lucky to have a teacher like Mr. Kelly to serve our students.”

There are a lot of people that make a school year happen, many of them working right in the school system and others that do their part outside the schools. 

“I would like to personally thank Northern Rockies Medical Center for providing the free sports physicals. That is a tremendous service they provide to the kids in our schools. Also, I would like to thank Cut Bank Education Foundation and Alumni Association (CBEFAA) for supporting and funding so many extras for our schools. Our budget does not always allow for certain items, but thanks to CBEFAA, we are able to get some of those things. And, I would like to thank our Cut Bank Booster Club. They also help fund additional purchases that would not be in our budgets. We appreciate these organizations and all they do for the kids in our schools.” 

He added, “The Cut Bank Schools Board of Trustees is an experienced group of professional individuals who volunteer their time and effort to support the students and staff of Cut Bank Schools. We are very fortunate for the support we receive from our Trustees and the community.”

Summer is not really over, not yet, but the new school year has started and once again the schools have come alive with the buzz of students, staff, teachers and activities.

“It is good to be back and we are looking forward to a happy and productive year,” concluded Johnson.

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