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Celebration of Excellence honors Helena's best and brightest

Celebration of Excellence honors Helena's best and brightest

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Helena High School student Heath Caldwell hands his teacher, Claire Pichette,

Helena High School student Heath Caldwell hands his teacher, Claire Pichette, a gift on Monday at the Celebration for Excellence at Memorial Park.

Helena's annual Celebration of Excellence brought some of the area's best and brightest students and educators together Monday night.

Each year, the Helena Education Foundation recognizes students for their excellence in academics, endeavors in a particular subject area, leadership or triumph over adversity. They're then asked to identify educators who made the most significant impact on them during their academic journey. Both groups are then honored at the HEF's Celebration of Excellence.

This year, the HEF honored 71 pairs of distinguished students and educators during a get-together at Memorial Park. Gathering in smaller groups over a period of four hours, the students and educators picked up gifts and commemorative items, took photos and celebrated with family and friends. 

Helena High School student Jonathan DeWald, left,

Helena High School student Jonathan DeWald, left, exchanges gifts with his teacher Julie Ladd on Monday at the Celebration of Excellence at Memorial Park.

Since its inception in 2003, the Celebration of Excellence banquet, along with an Independent Record insert that includes profiles of the students and their moving tributes to their distinguished educators, gives the community an opportunity to share in and honor these students’ achievements and their imminent graduation.

View student-submitted videos honoring their educators at Helena Education Foundation's website (www.hefmt.org/celebration-of-excellence/).

Distinguished student and educators

Distinguished students and educators gather at Memorial Park on Monday for the Celebration of Excellence.

Distinguished student and educators

Distinguished students and educators gather at Memorial Park on Monday for the Celebration of Excellence.

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