The Helena Education Foundation’s “Let’s Talk about Great Teachers” recognitions began in 2007 as a feature of Great Conversations honoring Helena’s Public School extraordinary educators who exceed expectations in serving students, their peers and their community.

For many years LTAGT’s were sponsored by Dr. Timothy Ballweber. When Dr. Ballweber retired, Drs. Adam and Marlene Ostby of Ballweber and Ostby Orthodontics generously assumed sponsorship of this important program.

Educators selected for this honor meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • Effort above and beyond typical classroom expectations
  • Commitment to serving students beyond the classroom
  • Support for HEF programs and goals

The 2023 Let’s Talk About Great Teachers recipients, from left to right: Tia Wilkins-Principal, Warren Elementary School, Tyson Reiter-Band, Helena Middle School, Ryan Swenson-Math, Capital High School, Kayla Ryan-Literacy Coach, Bryant & Central Elementary Schools, Rebekah Harris-Lower Montessori, Broadwater Elementary School, Rosanna Buschini-Kindergarten, Rossiter Elementary School, Therese Tucker-ELL Coordinator, Helena School District, and Sol Jones-Assistant Principal, CR Anderson (not pictured).


I am humbled by this flattering recognition and it is so comforting to know the weight of such a superb community is supporting education here in Helena.

Sam Leonard
Access to Success Teacher

Past Let's Talk About Great Teacher Honorees

Joslyn Davidson-Curriculum Director, Lincoln Center
Jill Downing-Central School
Ryan Cooney- U.S. History, American Gov’t-PAL
Beth Douglass-Social Studies, CRA
Thomas Batey-Music, CHS
Shannon McNamey-Nurse, CHS
Chelsey Davis-Librarian, 4 G’s
Buffy Smith- Computer Tech, HHS
Kristin Bishop-Language Arts, HMS

Dawn Rolling-Assistant Principal, HMS
Amy Friez-Librarian, HMS
Jody Branting-3rd grade, 4 Georgians
Eric Croft-Automotive Skills, CHS
Brice Burton-4th grade, Warren
Shannin Preshinger-English, HHS
Susan Graham-Social Studies., CRA

Kathy Kidder-Assistant Principal, CHS
Deb Sargent-Nurse, HHS and PAL
Robert Worthy-Sodexo
Jake Spearson-Drafting, HHS
Jill Putnam-Kindergarten, Jefferson
Ashlie Buresh-Literacy Coach, Central Elementary
Kirsten Roush-School-Aged Child Care (S.A.C.C.)

Bob Tipton- Math, CRA
Jeremy Robinson-Counselor, CHS
Cal Boyle-Principal, HMS
JoAnn Didrikson-Big Read, HHS
Melody Wall-Kindergarten, 4G’s
Kayla Ryan-Bryant
Jake Warner-Math, CHS
Laura Trapp-Librarian, Rossiter

Sarah Stankowiak-4-G’s

Manny Garza-Health & Human Body, HHS
Sam Leonard-English, Access to Success
Maureen Hunthausen-HMS
Christina Siemenski-Science, CHS
Sarah Urban-Science, CHS
Ashley Fish-Jim Darcy

Dennis Peterson-Math, CHS
Brian Cummings-Principal, Jim Darcy
Greg Wald-PAL
Jake West-Art, Computer Apps & Health, CRA
Marla Unruh-Librarian, Broadwater
Christine Thennis-Science, HHS
Erin Finstad-Bryant

Kristen Lyndes-Smith
Alison Kaufman-Special Education, HMS
Joice Franzen-Librarian, Bryant
Justine Alberts-Kessler
Brett Zanto-Principal, CHS
Kendra Selser-CRA

Matt Lyng – Spanish, Capital High School
Siobahn Hathorn- Broadwater
Linda Safty-Unsworth – Broadwater School
Suzy Fabian – CR Anderson
Jim Weber – Welding, Capital High School

Doug Dellwo-CRA
Mary Anderson-CRA
Tirzah Bruski-CHS
Chuck McGurn-Tnet
Ann Bartsch-Hawthorne
Josh Mckay-HMS
Denise Thomas-HHS

Sue Sweeney-Broadwater
Terri Norman-Capital High School
Joan Leik – Helena High Sschool
Gary Myers – Rossiter
Pam Aldrich-Four Georgians

Karry Hauck – Four Georgians

Janet Erickson, Helena Middle School
Bill Kaiser-Information Technology, Capital High
Jennifer Loomis-Physical Education, Capital High
Nancy Peterson-Librarian, Kessler Elementary
Willie Schlepp-Helena High
Sandee Sept-Central Elementary and Kessler Elementary
Sandy Wardell-Helena High

Kathy Boutilier-Nurse, Capital High and Hawthorne Elementary
Jodi Delaney-Upper Montessori, Broadwater Elementary
Tom Pedersen-Science, Capital High
Jon Runnalls-Starbase
Greg Upham-Helena High
Katy Wright-Hawthorne Elementary

Tina Brothers – Jim Darcy Elementary
Angela Clark – Jefferson Elementary
Kristen Lyndes – Helena High School
Jim McGrane – Helena Middle School
John Miller – Capital High School
Shelly Pelc – Smith Elementary
Michael Weller – C.R. Anderson Middle School

Mike Agostinelli – Smith Elementary
Deb Jacobsen – Principal, Hawthorne Elementary
Katie Meyer – Helena Middle School
Lisa Parker – Helena High School
Paul Phillips – Science, Capital High School
Kari Wald – Bryant Elementary

Pam Campbell – Bryant Elementary
Amanda Curtis – Math, Helena Middle School
J.J. Lamb – Warren Elementary
Char Lawrence – Capital High School
Tom Mazanec – Band, C.R. Anderson Middle School
Don Pogreba – English, Helena High School

Helen Bosch – Science, Capital High School
Kelly Elder – Social Studies, C.R. Anderson Middle School
Terry Middagh – Bryant Elementary
Jason Neiffer – Capital High School
Steve Thennis – Helena High School