We recognize exceptional students who have demonstrated academic excellence, achievement, leadership or who overcame obstacles.

Distinguished Scholars are selected on the basis of criteria developed by students, teachers and administrators, including GPA, number of high-level courses, total credit hours and activities.

Distinguished Achievers are nominated by educators and selected anonymously by an HEF committee. Distinguished Students and Distinguished Educators are honored at an annual banquet in May.

“I renewed my commitment to teaching.”

– A Distinguished Educator after the Celebration of Excellence

Qualifications for Distinguished Scholars

Students must have a minimum of 13 (14 beginning with the Class of 2023) credit hours of honors, AP, accelerated or college-level classes (eligible dual credit courses as listed) and a 3.7 GPA at the end of the 7th semester in order to qualify as a Distinguished Scholar, and a minimum 24 total credit hours by the end of the 7th semester . Credits for non-core classes are limited to 2 credits of advanced study per area, such as music, art, language, etc.

For more information, please contact the Helena Education Foundation at [email protected] or 443.2545.

Nominations for Distinguished Achievers

Educators identify Distinguished Achievers based on achievement in a specific curricular area, leadership, overcoming obstacles to achievement or service.

To nominate a Distinguished Achiever for 2022, please complete the form by Friday, February 4, 2022

Distinguished Educators

A Celebration of Excellence also honors the Distinguished Educators who had the most positive impact on their students’ academic journey. Each student writes a short message about why that educator was selected. Each educator selects a special book as a gift for the Distinguished Student.

The Helena Education Foundation salutes these fine educators and thanks them for sharing their talents, knowledge, creativity and love of learning with our youth. They make a difference in our schools and community, one student and one class at a time.

“I was so surprised, I was not expecting something so amazing as this. This achievement makes me proud to be to a HHS alumni.”

– A Distinguished Scholar


If you are interested in sponsoring the Celebration of Excellence, please contact Lisa Cordingley at [email protected] or 443-2545.

Community Support

We wish to acknowledge another important partnership – the role of the Helena community in a successful public education system. Thanks to the many community members, businesses, service groups and friends of the Helena Education Foundation who sponsored exceptional students and educators. Please thank them for their support.