As principal of Columbia Falls High School, I am fortunate to witness the many achievements of the CFHS students and staff. Following are a number of recent accomplishments at our school:
Because of the unique academic programs we offer, Gov. Steve Bullock chose to visit CFHS at the beginning of the 2015-16 school year to highlight the importance of college and career readiness. Our opportunities include dual-credit classes with Flathead Valley Community College, Advanced Placement classes and the unique Building Trades Triad, which integrates math, English and building trades into collaborated curricular units.
Dual-credit classes are classes in which students can earn credit at both Flathead Valley Community College and CFHS. The program has grown dramatically. In the 2011-12 school year, CFHS offered five dual-credit classes. This year, there are 15 dual-credit courses to choose from. That is more than any other Class A school in the state and more than any other high school in the Flathead Valley. Students also have the opportunity to finish the complete FVCC Health Occupations Pathway and receive a Health Occupations certification by taking classes offered at Columbia Falls High School.
In 2011-12, CFHS offered four Advanced Placement classes. With the addition of AP Physics this year, Columbia Falls High School now offers nine AP Courses. Advanced Placement courses provide opportunities for students to earn college credit and to experience the rigor of a college-level class. This better prepares them for the future and makes for a more impressive resume when applying for colleges and scholarships.
The Wildcats captured three state team championships last year — volleyball, speech and debate, and boys swimming. Within those, there were seven individual state champions. It was the 11th consecutive speech and debate state win for CFHS. We also finished third in the Montana all-class speech meet with two individual state champions Our girls basketball team finished second at the Class A state tournament, with the boys and girls track teams both taking second at the state meet.
Students from Independent Science Research class competed in the regional science fair at Montana Tech University. The group earned first place in the small-school division with many of the students earning individual awards. Colin Norick, who is part of the Science Research class, took first place in the Intermountain Junior Science & Humanities Symposium. These same students also nearly swept the Flathead County Science Fair. In Biological Sciences, CFHS students took first, second and third place and in Physical Sciences, CFHS students earned a first place and third place
These are just a few highlights of the exceptional achievements of our students and faculty at Columbia Falls High School, and are a real indication of rigor plus opportunities available for all students. As we look forward to the 2016-17 school year, I know we will build on these accomplishments. The future is bright in Wildcat Country. I am proud of our students’ achievements and inspired by the efforts of everyone at CFHS to uphold our core values:
Character is compassion
Focus on your future
Honor yourself and others
Strength to persevere.
Proud to be a Wildcat!