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FOBSE scholarships reward local students


Friends of Big Sky Education is bringing back its Community Scholarship Program for the second year.

Any senior graduating from Lone Peak High School in June is eligible to apply for one or more of the 18 available scholarships, which are donated by local families, businesses and organizations.

Of the 23 LPHS graduates in 2015, 16 students applied for 21 scholarships, and approximately $33,000 was divvied out to eligible students.

This year, with eight seniors slated to graduate, the pool is a bit smaller yet the rewards are twofold, according to Jerry Mistretta, a former high school principal and co-founder of the program.

“[FOBSE scholarships] reward kids for academic achievement and extracurricular work,” said Mistretta, who along with his wife, former district superintendent and principal Anne Marie, started the program last year. “They also give the community the opportunity to tell them ‘job well done.’”

The scholarship categories range from general to medicine, arts media to business, and social services to trades.

Students received scholarship information in mid-January, and applications are due back to the school in mid-February. During a spring school assembly, scholarships will be awarded to qualifying students.

“With the new hospital and [elementary] school, Big Sky is seeing a changing way of life,” Jerry said. “Now the community is providing for the community kids.”

Find scholarship details at


BSSD students participate in storytelling program


BIG SKY – On Jan. 11, Missoula-based writer Elke Govertsen presented the first in a series of three storytelling symposiums offered to BSSD junior high and high school students.

The symposiums are part of a larger storytelling program available to Big Sky students. In addition to attending the presentations, 13 students are working on personal projects in afterschool workshops with Govertsen, who founded the parenting magazine Mamalode.

The idea for the program was developed during a HATCH conference, a gathering of 100 creative types from around the world that was held in Big Sky last fall.

Although some workshop students are focusing on writing – a couple are working on novels – Govertsen will also speak about other forms of storytelling like film and social media.

“We’re all storytellers whether we think of ourselves that way or not, and we’re all leaving an imprint,” Govertsen said.

All Big Sky junior high and high school students are invited to enter a writing contest to be held in conjunction with the workshop. The contest deadline is March 8 and winners will be announced April 8.

Other HATCH writers, including “Hook” screenwriter JV Hart, will assist with contest judging and plan to Skype in for future workshops.

The other symposiums are scheduled for March 4 and April 8.


BSMC sees success in opening month


Since it began accepting patients on Dec. 12, the Big Sky Medical Center had seen more than 300 patients in its emergency department as of Jan. 15, and the hospital had conducted 16 MRIs as of Jan. 9.

“It’s been rewarding to see our employees and physicians come together and work as a cohesive team to provide the best possible care for our patients,” said BSMC Administrator Tracy Reamy.

Of those 300-plus patients, 70 percent have been visitors to the area, and 30 percent were Big Sky or West Yellowstone residents.

“The Big Sky Medical Center is serving its intended purpose,” Reamy said. “Eighty percent of our patients thus far have had orthopedic-related injuries and those have been treated and released without leaving the community.”

Relocating the Big Sky Pharmacy under the same roof has been an added convenience for Big Sky patients and visitors. The BSMC Family Medicine Clinic focuses on primary care and offers same- and next-day appointments.

Dr. Kirk Weber, who is board certified in emergency medicine and a member of the BSMC board, says BSMC has already impacted the community in the short time its been open.

“We have heard from local fire department staff that their call turnaround times have improved,” Weber said, adding BSMC has been a collaborative resource for the Medical Clinic of Big Sky for ancillary diagnostic testing and treatment.

“I believe the [Big Sky] medical system has been greatly enhanced through our efforts along with other agencies and their personnel.”


Big Sky chamber hosts meetings on transportation issues


The Big Sky Chamber of Commerce will host a series of three community meetings to discuss the future of transportation and an investment framework for Big Sky’s roadway systems. The meetings will focus on the needs of Big Sky’s three main areas: Gallatin Canyon, Meadow Village and Mountain Village.

Bozeman’s Western Transportation Institute will facilitate these public meetings to seek input from local residents about Big Sky’s transportation needs and priorities. WTI is a department of the College of Engineering at Montana State University and has been advancing the field of transportation since 1994.

This series of meetings is meant to facilitate a discussion where the public, private, and nonprofit sectors can communicate openly and share a vision for Big Sky’s future transportation issues. Topics that will be addressed include the capacity of the roadway system, short-term maintenance needs, speed limits and trail linkages.

If a Big Sky organization or partnership of organizations applies for transportation funding, there must be wide community support as a result of a collaborative effort.

All meetings will be held at the Big Sky Chapel on the following dates and times:

Wednesday, Jan. 27 – 9-11 a.m.
Wednesday, Feb. 3 – 6-8 p.m.
Thursday, Feb. 4 – 4-6 p.m.

For more information on Big Sky’s transportation meetings, contact Big Sky Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Kitty Clemens at (406) 995-3000 or

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