As the school year is starting to wrap up, Havre Public Schools took some time last night to show appreciation for the people who make every school day possible
On Thursday night, the Havre High School gymnasium held the annual HPS Pride Celebration.
“These opportunities are among the best parts of my job, where I have the opportunity to thank you all, ” Superintendent Andy Carlson said. “I know what you do for all of the children of our community. I see it every day in my work.
“Nothing you do is insignificant. It all matters.”
He went on, in his opening remarks to say he wanted to tell them something he thought that they did not do a good enough job of — taking credit for all they do.
Through the evening the superintendent and five trustees recognized employees from those who recently reached five-year benchmarks in their careers, up to Greg Dolven’s 35-year mark and employees who are retiring, and they awarded the teacher and employee of the year.
The Teacher of the Year Award went to Havre High School wood shop teacher Bruce Finneman.
Last year’s teacher of the year, Brooke Donovan, spoke about Finneman’s ability as a teacher, his adaptibility as roof issues have interrupted his class back in 1997 and earlier this semester, and his work in the community using his knowledge and students to help organizations through the years.
The employee of the year was Kylene VanCampen, Highland Park Early Primary School’s secretary for four years.
The previous honoree, Pearl Wagner, said that Kylene’s positive attitude, dedication and smile helped brighten the school each day.
Many of those leaving the district soon, who were also recognized for their length of service, spoke to the room of close to 200 colleagues about their thoughts on Havre Public Schools.
Greg Dolven, Havre Middle School language teacher, will be leaving the school system after 35 years.
He recounted his experience with Havre schools, from attending in the 1950s to starting teaching at Sunnyside in 1976, through moving to the middle school is “looking for a challenge.”
He commended the trustees for their work, the superintendent for his deft handling of the tough situation he inherited and his current boss, HMS Principal Dustin Kraske, saying “There’s not a thing that man can’t do when he puts his mind to it.
“What a great bunch of people, professional people, caring people,” Dolven said, before finishing with how he plans to enjoy his wife’s company in retirement.
Havre High Principal Jerry Vandersloot was honored for his 20-years of service and in recognition of his departure for Wyoming in a month.
Thirty-year HPS veteran and current district Clerk Zella Witter reflected on her career, coming to an end in May, working with five superintendents and numerous trustees, telling the audience how much she appreciated all of the district’s employees.
“It’s all of you that make Havre Public Schools so awesome, ” Witter said. “I have poured my life into this establishment, and I look forward to watching it grow.”