MO N TA N A GEAR UP
Gaining Early Awareness & Readiness for Undergraduate Programs
Office of the Commissioner of Higiier Education
46 North Last Chance Gulch | PC Box 203201
Helena | MT | 59620-3201
(406) 444-0056 | www.gearup.montana.edu
CtFARUP Dil^eCtOr'S Message by sandy Merdinger
Inside this issue:
OPI Announces Indian
GEAR UP Spotlight:
Arlee School is Running!
Free Admission to
Museum of the Rockies
MIEA Spring Conference
College Goal Sunday —
2006 Youth Leadership
GEAR UP Staff
The big news in the GEAR UP office is the birth of Cyrus and IVIegan IVIalkin's baby,
Aria, on January 25^^ Congratulations to Cy and his family! We wish them all the
best as their family grows. In order to spend some time with Aria, Cyrus will be out of
the office the first week in February, so please direct your calls or emails to others in
Beyond celebrating Aria's birth, we are pleased to announce that Montana GEAR UP
will partner with the Student Assistance Foundation to help pilot College Summit in
Montana. College Summit is designed to navigate the gap between high school and
college for students that are "better than their numbers" but need some extra support
to get into college and to stay in college. There was a positive response when College
Summit staff presented information about the program in Havre in early January.
Representatives from six GEAR UP schools attended and some are interested in
participating in the pilot program. We will keep you posted on the program as we see
how College Summit can be effectively rolled out in a rural state like Montana.
On the national level, the U.S. Department of Education just announced a new
competition for GEAR UP funding. We encourage postsecondary institutions and
schools not already a part of a GEAR UP program to consider coming together and
submitting a partnership proposal. The deadline for applications for the six-year grant
is March 7'^ As you might imagine, we've seen great success in many of the GEAR
UP schools, so we hope others will also become involved in GEAR UP. If you have
any questions about the new round of funding or questions on writing a proposal,
please feel free to contact our office.
OPI Indian Education Division Fully Staffed!
Superintendent of Public Instruction Linda McCulloch is
pleased to announce the full staffing of the OPI Indian
Education Division. Due to funding in the 2005 Legislative
session, the Indian Education Division is expanding from
one Indian Education Specialist to a team of eight
individuals. Denise Juneau, Lynn Hinch, Mike Jetty, Martha Many Gray Horses, Mandy
Smoker Broaddus, Amy Sings In The Timber, Cal Boyle, and Joan Franke bring a wide
range of experience but a common vision in the area of Indian Education.
The Indian Education Division is dedicated to an equal and quality education for all
Montana students and is especially grateful for the diligent efforts of those who have
worked in and advocated for Indian Education throughout the years in Montana.
The Indian Education Division has two major functions. First, the group will work to
promote and uphold Montana's constitutional mandate of Indian Education for All, which
requires that ALL Montanans learn about the "distinct and unique heritage of American
Indians" (MCA 20-1501). Second, the Division works to improve the academic experi-
ence for American Indian students, including working to close the achievement gap that
exists between Indian and non-Indian students, decreasing drop-out rates, and creating
culturally responsive curriculum and school environments that promote success.
The Indian Education Division works in conjunction with educators, school districts, state
and tribal organizations, and state agencies to improve education for all Montana
Montana GEAR UP
The GEAR UP Spotlight: Arlee Schools
■Arlee is off and RUNNING!! bYTammvElsenGEARUPUalson
Arlee Schools are proud to be a new
participant in Montana GEAR UP, and we
looking forward to the next six years of
academic enrichment, college awareness,
and new scholarship opportunities for our
talented students. GEAR UP helps us build
on the many initiatives we began over the
past few years, modeled off GEAR UP
principles. One initiative, which is now a part
of our implementation plan, is our annual Buttercup Scholarship
This year, the race will be held on Saturday, March 25 , and it has been
officially renamed in honor of a master teacher and treasured colleague:
Ted Hesse, who died of cancer on December 7'\ 2005.
Mr. Hesse served for nearly 30 years as a first grade teacher and taught
hundreds of Arlee students to read. In addition, he mentored dozens of student teachers over the past 20
years. Our community partners, the Friends of Arlee Schools, decided that there was no more fitting way to
honor Ted than to name the scholarships we will award to deserving
Arlee graduates after him. He gave them a great start in their
academic pursuits as 6 year olds, and now, in his honor, they will
be attending college! There is no doubt he would be very proud.
We want to invite students from other GEAR UP schools to
participate in our annual run. As this is our area's first race of the
spring, we encourage everyone to dress warm, prepared for sun,
rain, or as is often the case.... snow! More information and
registration forms can be downloaded from our website,
www.geocities.com/btrcuprun. Cost for students is $15, which
includes a t-shirt, or $8 for no shirt. All proceeds go to providing
scholarships for as many as 1 Arlee graduates of the class of 2006. We hope to see you there!
2005 GEAR UP graduate surveys were due January 13, 2006 for 1999 Grantees.
Online student survey completion deadline was January 25, 2006.
Winter Liaisons Meeting is January 31 — February 1 , 2006 in Helena.
Essay contest submissions are due February 1st. For more information, contact Tina
Wagner at (406) 444-0350 or twagner@mgslp. state. mt.us.
College Goal Sunday is February 12th, 2006. Check out www.collegegoalmt.org for more information.
The 2006 Title I Conference is February 14-16 in Billings. To register online, or for more information, visit
http://btc.montana.edu/titleone/. Montana GEAR UP will sponsor up to three (3) from each GEAR UP
GEAR UP Spring/Summer 2006 Professional Development Opportunities schedule is available on the
GEAR UP website (www.gearup.montana.edu).
Spotlight articles for the March newsletter are due February 17th and can be sent to Cyrus Malkin at
This newsletter can also be viewed on our website (www.gearup.montana.edu).
If you know of anyone who would like to receive this newsletter, send his or her information to Cyrus Malkin
Free Admission to the Museum of the Rockies!
For the first time ever, school groups from across the state of
IVIontana will be admitted free to the Museum of the Rockies thanks
to generous donations from individuals and corporations. The
donated funds will also be used to establish a scholarship fund that
will subsidize bus transportation costs that schools may incur.
The Museum of the Rockies was founded in 1957, by Dr. Caroline
McGill, a Butte physician, as her gift to all the people of Montana. It is
committed to preserving and interpreting the natural and cultural
history of the region. "We feel strongly that our exhibits and
collections need to be accessible in order to educate children about
their heritage," said Museum Dean Sheldon McKamey, "The museum
is incredibly grateful to the donors that made this possible because free admission will make a visit to the museum
far more feasible for schools,"
In order to take advantage of the free admission, schools simply have to call the museum's education office at
(406) 994-6618 to make reservations. All trips for schools groups can include guided tours, planetarium shows, the
living history farm, and the Lewis & Clark challenge course, but schools must prearrange which features of the
museum they want to visit.
Montana GEAR UP Note: Museum staff would love to host Montana GEAR UP schools, and they ask that they
have three weeks' notice to set up a great visit. The museum is especially busy in May, so advance notice is very
important if schools wish to visit in May.
MIEA Spring Conference-March 30-April 2, 2006
The Montana Indian Education Association celebrates 25 years at its Spring Conference on March 30- April 2,
2006. Montana GEAR UP is proud to once again help sponsor this conference, entitled Creating Change,
Eliminating Barriers, Building Successful Programs - 25 Years of Indian Education. Attending this year's
conference will be a great way to celebrate the many positive changes in Indian Education. As stated in a recent
memo from the MIEA Board of Directors, "We cannot nor should we forget our history - it is who we are and what
sustains us in our work to give every Indian child the hope and opportunities for success. When we are united in
this effort, we can make a difference." The MIEA 2006 conference will be held at the Billings Hotel and Convention
Center. Montana GEAR UP will support up to four staff members from each of our schools to attend this
conference. This support will include conference registration, mileage, per diem meals, and substitute teacher
costs. For a list of other professional development opportunities supported by Montana GEAR UP, contact Linda
Safty, School Grant Manager, at (406) 444-0848, or visit our website at www.gearup.montana.edu.
Collejge Goal Sunday Reminder!!
Don't forget about College Goal Sunday, February 12th, from 1 :00 to 4:00!! This is
an excellent opportunity for your high school seniors (and early graduating
juniors) to complete their Free Application for Student Financial Aid (FASFA). This
year. College Goal Sunday will be offered in many locations accessible to GEAR
UP schools, including the following: Flathead Valley Community College —
Kalispell; Blackfeet Community College — Browning; Salish Kootenai College —
Pablo; Carroll College— Helena; University of Montana— Missoula; MSU—
Northern; MSU— Great Falls College of Technology; MSU— Billings; Little Big
Horn College — Crow Agency; Chief Dull Knife College — Lame Deer; and others!
Students can pre-register for College Goal Sunday online and find more
information, including important information to bring, at www.collegegoalmt.org, or
you can call Libby Siebens at the Student Assistance Foundation at
Montana GEAR UP -February 2006
Montana GEAR UP Note:
Last year, Box Elder student Ashley
Haley was selected as a Youth
Leadership Summit scholar. Ashley
said she had a wonderful time, and
Montana GEAR UP strongly
encourages students entering 10th,
11th, or 12th grade next year to
submit an application. Best of luck!
Booz I Allen [ Hamilton
In an effort to inolude student -centered perspectives and the
opinions of youth in the education reform debate, tlie National
Councii for Community and Education Partnerships and Booz
Aiion iHamiiton inc. (www-bah.com) have joined togGthor to
present the Youth Leadership Summit 2006 The Summit
provides opportunities for high school students to participate
in a wide range of activities at the NCCEP/GEAR UP Annuai
Conference in Washington, DC from July 22-26, 2006, During
the summit, the youth leaders will participate in a broad range
of activities, including conference plenary sessions, student
forums, and leadership development training. Their experience
will culminate in the preparation and oral presentation of a
report to be issued during the final luncheon plenary session of
This year, 30 GEAR UP high school students and four
alumni will be selected to participate in the 2006 Youth Lead-
ership Summit. The competitive application process requires
each youth applicant to submit an essay, formal appiicatton,
academic transcripts, letters of reference, and a parental
permission form. For additional information, please visit the
NCCEP web site (www.edpartnerships,org), or contact Marie
Hughes at (202) 530-1 135 or via e-mail at
Montana GEAR UP
Office of the Commissioner of
46 North Last Chance Gulch
PO Box 203201
Helena, MT 59620-3201
Fax: (406) 444-0425
Cal Boyle, OPI GEAR UP Specialist
Kelly Hert, Federal Accountant
Janice Kirkpatrick, Scholarship Coordinator
444-063 8 , jkirkpatrick@mgslp . state . mt. us
Cyrus Malkin, Administrative Associate
Bruce Marks, MGSLP Director
444-0351, bmarks@mgslp. state. mt.us
Sandy Merdinger, GEAR UP Director
444-03 1 7 , smerdinger@oche . montana. edu
Andrea Rankin, Program Manager
Linda Safty, School Grant Manager
Tina Wagner, Financial Aid Outreach
Annette Walstad, Program Manager
Montana GEAR UP vi^ebsite:
www . gearup . montana. edu
Montana Guaranteed Student Loan
National GEAR UP website:
National Council for Community &
Education Partnerships (NCCEP) site:
www . edpartnerships . org/