Havre Daily News
The wheels on the bus went round and round early Thursday morning.
State Superintendent Linda McCulloch's Yellow School Bus Tour rolled into Havre for a day of school tours and conversation.
About 15 Office of Public Instruction staff members met with students, teachers, administrators and HPS board members throughout the day.
“Havre students are definitely getting a top-notch education - no doubt about it,” McCulloch said.
She said she loves hearing staff from each school say that their school is the best.
“We do have the best schools in Montana. That's just a fact, not a bias,” McCulloch said.
McCulloch, who has worked as a librarian said she enjoyed reading to Havre's children.
“I think sometimes it's more fun for me than the kids,” she said.
Lincoln-McKinley Primary students performed a presentation for the state staff on presidents.
“They did such a good job. I was in tears. I cry through all that stuff,” McCulloch said.
Deputy superintendent Bud Williams said he was really impressed with HPS music program.
“I had a delightful, wonderful day. You have much to be proud of in Havre,” Williams said.
“The bands and music programs are stellar,” she said.
OPI started doing the tour four years ago and since then has logged about 56,000 miles, McCulloch said. Over the four years, the bus tour has traveled to 34 cities and visited about 110 schools.
She said many of her staff have taught in the past and
haven't had a chance in their job capacity to visit schools, which makes the touring even more exciting.
“I love being state superintendent but equally miss being in the classroom,” McCulloch said.
The tour traveled to Rocky Boy Public Schools on Tuesday
and Harlem, Hays and Lodge Pole on Wednesday.
McCulloch said she was impressed with Rocky Boy Public Schools lunch menus. The schools are battling diabetes and obesity by using fresh fruits and whole grain breads.
Yellow School Bus Tour project director Tara Jensen said she was amazed by the nutrition at Rocky Boy schools. The tour through the Hi-Line was the first time she had participated in the tour.
Something else Jensen said she found interesting was the use of technology at Havre Middle School. She said she liked the use of remote control-like gadgets in testing and that teachers can download their notes to a computer to share with others.
HPS board member Kathie Newell was along for the ride.
“This is what it is all about,” Newell said of the experience. “I am amazed at the level of work these kids are doing.”
HPS board chair Denise Thompson said the tours went really well and she was looking forward to Thursday night's annual employee recognition Pride Celebration, which she called “the perfect end to the perfect day.”