At the prompting of Superintendent Dr. Dustin Shipman, students stand to applaud their donors, the FOBSE board, their families and the community that raised them at the end of the ceremony. PHOTO BY KEELY LARSON

Lone Peak Seniors recognized

Seventh annual FOBSE ceremony honors the accomplishments of 22 Big Horns

The seventh annual Friends of Big Sky Education (FOBSE) senior recognition ceremony took place on April 2. Twenty-two seniors applied and received scholarships funded by various local donors, facilitated by FOBSE.

FOBSE is a public charitable organization that supports the Big Sky School District. Its original goal in 2004 was to improve secondary education for Big Sky students, and make schooling more viable locally, not necessitating a move or multiple trips to Bozeman for education.

The organization raised more than $2.5 million to construct the high school building, as well as designed and raised funds for the Warren Miller Performing Arts Center (WMPAC). The high school opened in 2009 with 20 students in all four grades.

Dr. Anne Marie Mistretta and her husband, Jerry, were instrumental in the creation of the high school and are active FOBSE participants. Anne Marie was the superintendent of the Big Sky School District in its earlier years, and she expressed gratitude to her husband for all of his work with FOBSE on the scholarship program. Jerry will retire from the organization this year.

Anne Marie, who presented students’ awards along with school board trustee Whitney Littman, gushed about this batch of applications being the best the committee has ever received. $73,000 were available across 40 scholarships.

“This is my favorite time of year. We begin honoring the accomplishments of our graduating seniors, but its bittersweet,” Dr. Marlo Mitchem, secondary school principal, said.

“So many of you are headed off to other states this year and we wish you success. We want you to come back and tell us more about what you learned and about yourself,” Anne Marie said.

Anne Marie left students with lines from cowboy poet, Dave Stamey, at the closing of the ceremony:

My parents gave me Montana. No matter where I go, it carries me. When I look inside, I see Montana.


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