EAST HELENA – State officials joined educators and community members on Monday, August 27 for the ribbon cutting ceremony at the new Prickly Pear Elementary School.
East Helena Public Schools superintendent Ron Whitmoyer spoke during the ribbon cutting, and thanked everyone who worked on the new building.
Whitmoyer also thanked the community for supporting the project, and ultimately being responsible for making the new school a reality.
Construction began on the school in June of 2017 and was made possible through a $12 million bond passed by East Helena voters.
Students and parents dropped off their school supplies on Monday and were able to meet their new teachers in their classrooms.
Principal of Prickly Pear Elementary Jill Miller is looking forward to Wednesday Aug. 29 when the students will be starting their first day in their new school.
“The students are what breathe the life into a school,” said Miller.
The Prickly Pear Elementary staff is thrilled to be in such a nice facility, but Miller has been reminding them that it’s the students and teachers that make a school great.
“It’s such a gorgeous facility and it’s always exciting to have something new,” said Miller, ”But one thing I told them at the staff meeting was that this is just a building, and it’s what they do every day that makes the magic in our district.”
Montana Governor Steve Bullock spoke at the event and praised the work of the community and their involvement in the new school.
“We celebrate today more than just new foundations or new walls happening,” said Bullock, “We celebrate the commitment of an entire community opening up the door of opportunity, not just for today but for generations to come.”
Bullock also praised the role and responsibilities of public schools in communities.
“Public schools give everyone the same opportunity to thrive and become what they might not have known otherwise,” said Bullock.