From the Principal’s Desk

Brett Zanto

Dear Bruin Community:

Welcome back (or welcome to) Capital High School!  Please be sure to take time to review the list of activities, schedules, and expectations contained in this guide to help ensure your success this year!

We will continue to focus on ensuring that all graduates are both college and career ready.  To help meet such a lofty goal, we will continue to use the PLC (Professional Learning Community) process where staff collaboration will equate to a focus on student learning in light of the Montana State Standards.  PLC time will occur once again each Monday afternoon this year, meaning that all students will be released early.  In our district, we have been closely tracking ACT data as it coincides with the implementation of the PLC model of professional development.  As a matter of fact, both state and national ACT leaders are also paying attention to data coming out of 100 Valley Drive in Helena, MT.   I’m pleased to say that just last year, Capital High School was selected as the 2017 Montana College and Career Transition Award recipient for the ACT College and Career Readiness Campaign.

CHS is home to a hard-working and caring staff.  Likewise, CHS is fortunate to have hard-working students who want to excel both inside and outside the confines of the classroom.  This is an exciting time to be a part of Capital High School- take advantage of all of the opportunities found here. It is a great day to be a Bruin!


Brett Zanto
Capital High School


Parent Council

The Council meets the first Thursday of each month at Capital High in the Library Conference Room at 12pm.

We welcome all CHS parents!!  Please come meet with me to connect as well as share concerns, ideas, information etc.  Please sign in as a visitor in the Main Office then proceed to the Library Conference Room, located in the back of the Library.  I hope to see you there!

12:00 – 12:30 – Lunch Meeting with Mr. Zanto – CHS Library Conference Room

Posted on February 12, 2018

2.12.18 Principal Newsletter

What a great game of avoidance ball last Wednesday!  The staff team did a great job and thank you to all of you who were willing to participate.  Likewise, a big thank you to Kathy Kidder and the rest of planning committee for all of your efforts in organizing this recent assembly.

Current sophomores will be registering this week (and current juniors will be meeting with counselors on Tuesday since they were not able to register on Friday).

BBall make up games from Friday vs. Glacier High (also impacts upcoming crosstown girls game):

February 12 CHS Boys vs Glacier Frosh 4:30 pm at 4G’s Soph 4 pm JV 5:45 pm and Varsity 7:30 pm

February 16 CHS Girls at Glacier Frosh/Soph 4 pm JV 5:30 and Varsity 7:15 pm

February 19 HHS Girls vs Capital, times TBD, at CHS


I received the following message from a parent last week.  Such a message is nice to share as it not only exemplifies your impact on students, but it also highlights the impact that students have on all of us and reminds us of why we are here!

This morning I dropped my son off in front of the gym doors as usual.  As I was going up the incline to enter Valley drive, I stopped at the crosswalk to yet two young ladies cross.  Even though I have new studded tires on the vehicle I was driving, the end result was that my tires were spinning and I wasn’t going anywhere.  A truck was riding my bumper, so I couldn’t back up and get a running start.  Before I even had a chance to motion to the driver behind me to back up, the two young ladies that I let cross lined up on my trunk and started pushing.

 They apparently had a good breakfast, because I started moving.  I think one of them may have fallen or slipped, because I saw her brushing off her clothes.  I don’t know if my tires sprayed her or what.  They were laughing I think, so I continued on.  I did not take or have the opportunity to thank them.

 No doubt their parents upbringing had a role in this, but I would like to think that the values taught in our local school system played a role as well.  It was very nice to see these young ladies offer assistance when they weren’t even asked.

 So if you see some young ladies walking the halls that look like they need to wash some of their clothes, take it easy on them…

 Have a great day and thank for all you and your faculty do!

Posted on January 29, 2018

1.29.18 Principal Newsletter

First off, on Friday, Dennis Peterson informed me that one of our high school mathematical modeling teams is being recognized as “co-national champions” of the 20th annual national mathematical modeling competition!

From Mr. Peterson: The Outstanding Team consisted of Jaskrit Singh, Tommy Jergeson, Jessica Maynard and Jake Michaletz.  This team is the Co-National Champions

Capital High also had a Finalist team consisting of Zack Boles, Thomas Nelson, Justin Tofflemire and Nate Turner. This team is in the top 7% of all teams.

Capital High also had one Meritorious team and two Honorable mentions.

Congratulations to our math department as well as to CHS- what an honor!


One Class at a Time Award recipients:

Congratulations to Jacqui Engstrom and Jake Warner- each of them were awarded The One Class At A Time $250.00 Grant from First Interstate Bank.  Jacqui applied for a Simulated Smoker’s Lungs Demonstration Kit / display apparatus, and Jake applied for supplies to teach bridge building and air pressure rocket projects- congrats!


In the news- Honors Earth Science learning about snow:  Here is a link to the recent news coverage of the field trip to Great Divide.

Posted on January 22, 2018

1.22.18 Principal Newsletter

Welcome back to the start of the 2nd semester!


First off, congratulations to Deb Dorrance as the Region IV CSPD Award committee selected her as the 2018 Region IV Leader of the Year! Deb will attend the MCEC Conference and/or the Awards luncheon on March 1st  in Missoula to receive her award.  Deb is being honored for all of her efforts in arranging field trips and organizing some wonderful experiences for some identified students in our building.  Well deserved!!!

Winter Formal: Winter Formal is Friday, February 2nd at the Civic Center from 8:00 – 11:00. Click here for more information.


Posted on January 16, 2018

1.16.18 Principal Newsletter

Semester test week- hard to believe!


Congratulations to Jake Warner- recipient of a $300 MCTM Grant!  The grant will be used to help transform Tech Math into a project based classroom.

As a matter of fact, the following items have already been purchased through other grants that Jake has received:

  • A World In Motion Motorized Toy Car Kits, will be used to teach ratios, gear ratios, gear trains, and position, velocity, and acceleration.
  • GAMA Aviation Design Challenge Flight Software, will be used to teach force, lift and drag, pressure and airspeed, aspect ratio, wing loading, airplane design, and more.
  • MCTM Small Classroom Grant, used to purchase supplies that can be used to teach engineering design, right triangles, parabolas, scale, and much more

Congratulations to DECA and Mrs. Conn, as they just found out Capital High DECA achieved THRIVE Status in both categories (see below) for the current academic year.

This means that CHS DECA has secured 6 slots for students to attend DECA Nationals in Atlanta.

  • Membership
    • 86 members (increased membership by at least 20 members from last year)
    • 20 Alumni members
  • Chapter Campaign
    • Promote Entrepreneurship during Entrepreneurship (needed to conduct 6 activities)
    • Community Service-Needed 75% of the membership to participate.  DECA and the East Helena 1st graders made cards, toiletry bags and fleece blankets for the Veterans.  All the students presented the Veterans with these items and read them a story on Veteran’s Day.

Students in the CHS Science club are hosting a science camp this Friday.  The response from parents in our district has been overwhelming.  All seats filled up very fast- what a tremendous opportunity for elementary students in this district and what a positive reflection on the focus upon student learning occurring at Capital High School!

Posted on January 8, 2018

Weekly Update 1.7.18

Good afternoon-


A big thank you to maintenance with all of their efforts in taking care of the parking lots in light of the snow accumulation!


In the news:

2017 graduation rates released:

click here


Also, as a follow up to the award that was highlighted earlier this year,  the IR included an article on Sue Butler and the fact of her earning the “ 2017 Montana Family and Consumer Science’s Teacher of the Year award.”  Congratulations once again!

click here

Posted on January 4, 2018

Weekly Update 1/1/2018

Happy New Year!  I hope that you had a relaxing break.  Where did the time go and how much snow did you shovel?

What happened in the bathrooms?  Thanks to Walt and Terri Norman, as well as students in the MBI group, they painted quotes in the student bathrooms over the holiday break.  The bathrooms are looking good- thank you for your efforts!

Thinking back to the last day before break, I would like to thank Walt for his efforts in coordinating the assembly, as well as Thomas Baty for all of his efforts in organizing the Capital’s Got Talent contest and setting up for the three finalists who performed during the assembly.  Likewise, thank you to April for her dance choreography duties.  Thank you to everyone who brought food for the Potato Passion Potluck and for those that donated money for food cards for our families most in need.  What a great assembly this was!

Posted on December 18, 2017

Weekly Update 12.17.2017

Wow- the last week before the holiday break!

According to Mrs. Schlauch, the Penny Wars secured over $200.00, and Student Council is going to match that total.  The winning grade level is the sophomore class- they will get out a bit earlier than the rest of the students on Friday afternoon.  Speaking of Friday afternoon, don’t forget about the Holiday Assembly and the Potato Passion Potluck!  Sign-ups for the potluck are in the staff lounge, and don’t forget to come and practice with April for the staff dance that will be highlighted during the Assembly.

Food Card Donations:
Just a reminder amongst the departments to try to get some money together to support our families in need.  A big thank you to the Social Studies Department- they already turned in their money!  They contributed enough money to purchase 2 gift cards (and support two families) at Vann’s- thank you!!!

Toys for Tots:
Thank you to Mr. Deola and NHS for securing 10 boxes full of toys for the Toys for Tots program.  Great job!

In the news:
Hopefully all of you saw the article in the paper last week.  As shared the previous week, thank you for all of your efforts in helping to secure such an achievement for our district!

Helena schools get national recognition for student achievement, college and career preparation
Collaboration between teachers and administrators in Helena Public Schools is working to improve student performance and preparedness.

PSAT Score Update, from Jeramie Robinson:
We got our PSAT results. A little brag for our students.

The percent of students who were at college bound benchmark was 69%, the district average was 65%, the state average was 56%, and the national average is 44%.

Also, 88% made the English Writing benchmark and 73% made the math benchmark.

Our average PSAT score was 1104 (which roughly translates to a 22-23 on the ACT) , granted the PSAT is self-selected and typically our higher achieving, academically motivated junior students take the test.

Posted on December 7, 2017

AP Honor Roll – 5 Years Now!

Our district was notified by College Board that we have again been selected to the AP Honor Roll.  This is five out of the last eight years and the third year consecutively that our district has been recognized for AP excellence.  Congratulations to all for your hard work and caring attitude.  This is the third national recognition we have received this year for academic excellence.

 Our District is considered to be a medium district so the bar is 6% for improvement.   You may be interested in how many districts can make a claim to being on the honor roll for 5 years, the last three consecutively.  Of the 2,213 districts that have been on the honor roll the past 8 years, only 25 have been on it five times such as our district

This year our district is one of 447 school districts in the U.S. and Canada being honored by the College Board with placement on the 8th Annual AP® District Honor Roll.  To be included on the 8th Annual Honor Roll, we had to, since 2015, increase the number of students participating in AP while also increasing or maintaining the percentage of students earning AP Exam scores of 3 or higher. Reaching these goals shows that this district is successfully identifying motivated, academically prepared students who are ready for AP.

In 2017, more than 4,000 colleges and universities around the world received AP scores for college credit, advanced placement, or both, and/or consideration in the admissions process. Inclusion in the 8th Annual AP District Honor Roll is based on a review of three years of AP data, from 2015 to 2017, looking across 38 AP Exams, including world language and culture.

Congratulations Capital High School!!

Posted on December 5, 2017

Weekly Update 12.03.17

Good evening-

Between the speech and debate meet and the Capital City Duels- there was a lot going on this weekend!

As revealed last week, the following segment aired lasted week in regard to DeLacy Humbert’s physical science class- Samsung Solve For Tomorrow Contest

From Jim Weber:

Mastercam software announced the winners of last school years national Wildest Parts machining contest.   Grayson Weber and Hadley Snortland took first and second place.  Both put a huge amount of time and effort into their projects and received $1000 and $500 prizes for their efforts.

As a side note- this was a national competition.  Below are the parts that they made last year.
2017 Wildest Parts Winners

Posted on November 27, 2017

Weekly Update 11.26.17

Science Olympiad:

In the state competition held last Tuesday, the CHS Science Olympiad team took 2nd place.  A great job to the DeLacy Humbert and Kendra Lunday for your coaching efforts!

Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Contest:  Congratulations to DeLacy again!  Good luck in the state competition!

The following is from the formal press release:

Capital High School, located in Helena, Montana, was named one of the nation’s 255 state finalists in the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Contest, a program that encourages students to solve real-world issues in their community using classroom skills in science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM).

DeLacy Humbert’s physical science classroom was chosen based on their proposal to use STEAM skills to address prescription medication abuse. To tackle this project, students will propose a new design for prescription medication bottles.

As one of five state finalists in Montana, DeLacy Humbert will win a Samsung Chromebook® to use in her classroom. Capital High School will now have the opportunity to advance in the competition for additional classroom technology prizes. Mrs. Humbert is currently working on an Activity Plan outlining how her students will execute their project. If she is named the Montana State Winner in December, Capital High School will receive a $25,000 Samsung technology package!

CHS Mentoring Program:

Thank you to all staff members who have agreed to be a mentor to students this year.  Also, thank you to Marcia O’Dell for once again administering this program.