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FHS business teacher named High School Educator of the Year

| January 5, 2024 12:00 AM

Flathead High School business teacher Caitlin Heuscher has been named the High School Educator of the Year for 2023 by the Kalispell Education Foundation. 

The foundation’s student board reviewed 483 anonymous nominations from students, parents, staff and community members before selecting Heuscher for the honor. In addition to her teaching role, Heuscher leads Flathead’s Brave Mentoring Program and represents Flathead as a DECA Board of Directors Officer.

“We are thrilled with the opportunity to highlight Mrs. Heuscher’s incredible dedication to her students,” said the foundation’s Executive Director Dorothy Drury. “Most of us can point to a favorite teacher from our childhood, and I imagine Mrs. Heuscher will be that for many. We are also grateful for the many students, parents, and community members who took the time to share gratitude with Kalispell Public Schools teaching staff by submitting a nomination.”

One nomination from a student said that Heuscher supports kids in their academics and personally. 

“I have always felt able to go to her for support on a rough day or when I need a quiet place to reflect,” the nomination said. “And she is always willing to give more time, within reason, for assignments. She keeps her classes very discussion based and interactive but she is able to cater to students needs.”

One student relayed how when Heuscher was asked to give a presentation to other staff about how to get classes involved in learning, she asked the students for their thoughts. 

“After 13 years of school and countless teachers, I’ve never meet a teacher quite like Mrs. Heuscher,” the nomination said. “To speak of her many amazing qualities would make this endless so I’ll just stick with a few: empathy, encouragement, humbleness, passion, but most of all, inspiring.”

Several outlined her work leading the Brave Mentoring Program and DECA. 

“She deals with so much yet never fails to go above and beyond,” said one of the nominations. “Her passion is so noticeable and she has a genuine care and desire for all the things she manages. She deserves this.”

The foundation partnered with Stockman Bank to celebrate the achievements of Kalispell Public Schools teachers through an Educator of the Year program. One high school, one middle school, and one elementary school teacher receive this recognition each school year, which includes a $1,000 check for the recipient’s classroom. 

The KEF Student Board comprises four student leaders, Glacier High School’s Elise Strobel and Creed Wiley, and Flathead High School’s Vincent Lam and Naomi Miller. The student board is charged with managing the Educator of the Year award process, which includes communicating the process, reviewing all submissions received, and selecting a recipient.

Nominations for 2024 Middle School Educator of the Year will open in February.

The Kalispell Education Foundation is a nonprofit dedicated to supporting the students and staff of Kalispell Public Schools. For more information, visit https://kalispelleducationfoundation.org/