Whitefish teen receives award from Rep. Gianforte

Print Article

Faith Blackaby was awarded the Spirit of Montana by Montana Congressman Greg Gianforte last month. (Daniel McKay/Whitefish Pilot)

One Whitefish teenager recently received recognition on the floor of Congress.

Faith Blackaby, a freshman at Whitefish High School, was recently awarded the Spirit of Montana commendation by Montana Congressman Greg Gianforte for her work in establishing an elementary school book club.

Along with Blackaby, the award also went out to Julia and Jillian Wynne of Bigfork, who also worked on the book clubs while they were students at Stillwater Christian School.

After her sister Julia, a Flathead High School student, started a weekly book club for third and fourth graders, Jillian and Blackaby started their own book club for girls and designed and published calendars featuring photographs and stories about local veterans.

The proceeds from the calendars benefited the Northwest Montana Veterans Food Pantry.

Gianforte entered a statement congratulating the three girls into the Congressional Record on Jan. 25.

“Madam Speaker, I rise today to honor Faith Blackaby of Whitefish and Julia and Jillian Wynne of Bigfork, teenagers who encourage girls to read and whose work has benefited veterans and pet adoption centers in their communities,” he said. “Mike and Renee Wynne and Dean and Janet Blackaby have reason to be proud of their children. I thank the Wynnes, the Blackabys, and all in the community who support and encourage Julia, Jillian, and Faith in their service.”

The award is a weekly recognition of Montanans for their accomplishments, dedication or service, according to a release from Gianforte’s office.

Blackaby said the award was a surprise to all involved.

“I actually didn’t know I had gotten the award until a couple days later. I was reading an article and then it had my name in it, which was super surprising,” she said. “I know there’s so many people in Montana and most of them are doing great things and I’m just really glad to be considered within that group.”

Blackaby said the book club idea was borne out of her and Jillian’s love for reading.

“We were both really into books and still are, so we just figured we’d like it and it would benefit [the students], so we decided to mash it all together and have some fun,” she said. “[We enjoyed] really just getting to talk to the younger students and seeing them so excited over books, it was really fun.”

A book worm herself, Blackaby said her older sister, Kelsey, got her excited over reading early on.

“My older sister definitely started it. She’s an English major and loves everything related to literature. So it kind of came from that and just her telling stories, and then I started reading and turns out it’s actually kind of nice,” she said with a laugh.

Blackaby says her favorite books are generally the classics — like Jane Eyre or Pride and Prejudice — but lately she’s taken to science fiction and fantasy, notably works by author Brandon Sanderson.

While she’s not currently managing the book club anymore, she said she’d love to work on a similar project in the future.

As much of a book-lover as she is, Blackaby said she’d love to work on a similar project in the future.

“This was actually my first book club experience of any sort,” she said.

Print Article

Read More Schools

Fern discusses preschool initiatives

May 21, 2019 at 4:03 pm | Whitefish Pilot Democrat Rep. Dave Fern returned to the Whitefish School Board last week to give an overview of the recent state legislative session, but the discussion focused primarily on public pre-kindergarten e...

Comments

Read More

Board approves bid for rebuild of high school gym roof

May 21, 2019 at 5:44 am | Whitefish Pilot The Whitefish School District is moving forward with plans to replace the oldest section of the high school’s roof. The Whitefish School Board on May 14 unanimously approved a base bid by Metal Work...

Comments

Read More

Plan lays out goals of academic improvement

May 21, 2019 at 4:01 pm | Whitefish Pilot The Whitefish School District has adopted a strategic plan for the next six years, laying a path for academic growth for each and every Whitefish student. The Whitefish School Board unanimously appr...

Comments

Read More

Students share soil remediation research

May 16, 2019 at 6:43 am | Whitefish Pilot After turning an unfortunate case of contaminated soil into a research project, Whitefish High School students and teachers presented their findings to the public last week. Students in Todd Spangle...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

(406) 862-3505
312 E. Second Street
Whitefish, MT 59937

©2019 Whitefish Pilot Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X
X