Montana Tech Teams up with the Butte School District to Promote Graduation Matters


The Butte School District #1 and Montana Tech have teamed up to promote Graduation Matters Butte in the community. Graduation Matters is a focused effort to increase the number of students who graduate from high school prepared for college and careers. According to Graduation Matters Montana, “Thirty-three communities have joined Graduation Matters, including all AA schools, smaller, more rural schools, and schools on or near the state's Indian Reservations. Seventy percent of high school students attend a Graduation Matters school, and nearly 8,500 students have taken the pledge to graduate.”

“The Butte School District is committed to ensuring that every student graduates from high school ready for career and college,” explained Judy Jonart, superintendent of Butte School District #1.”

This spring with the help of Barrick, Montana Tech and the Butte School District launched a community-wide poster contest in all the elementary schools in Butte. A team from Tech visited each school promoting the importance of graduating and announcing the contest. The contest received approximately 75 entries. “This was our first community-wide push to talk to students about the importance of graduating,” said Joe McClafferty, Vice Chancellor for Advancement and University Relations and President of the Montana Tech Foundation. “Our team, which included Tech administrators, staff, student ambassadors and Charlie Oredigger, talked to students about working hard and graduating. We feel these presentations were a great first step for us to show students the importance of education and graduating. We want to make an impact in our community and will continue to work closely with the Butte School District to make sure students are graduating. Our plans for the Graduation Matters initiative will only increase as we continue to work together.”

“Since the launch of Graduation Matters Butte, the District has implemented several programs that directly focus on this initiative,” added Jonart. “Our graduation rate has increased by 6% over the past five years. This success would not be possible without the hard work and commitment of our staff, community and business members. We are extremely pleased to partner with Montana Tech and Barrick to further our Graduation Matters Butte initiative.”     

“This is a great time for our community as we see 31 students graduating from Butte Central and 293 from Butte High ready to enter college or the workforce,” added Montana Tech Chancellor Don Blackketter. “We wish these students much success as they take their next path in life. We look forward to working with the Butte School District next year on new initiatives for Graduation Matters and continuing to increase graduation numbers in our community.”