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Principal's Message

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Michele Paine


Flathead Families,

I’m so excited for another school year! I’m proud to serve as Principal of Flathead High School. Our 1,550 students and 150 staff members work together each day to make Flathead a special place.

The enrollment zone for FHS runs east to the Swan Mountains, west to Marion, south past Lakeside, and it covers the south side of Kalispell proper. We have the largest geographical area of any school in the Flathead Valley, and I think that’s part of what makes us special as a school community. Half of our students come from Kalispell Middle School, but the other half come from 10 other partner schools. I love watching how our students come together as 9th graders from this diverse area to learn and grow together throughout their four years of high school.

“Southside Pride” runs deep for those of us in the Flathead Family. It’s fun to see those 3rd and 4th generation Flathead High School students in our school community. We’ve had a high school in some fashion here on the southwest side of Kalispell since 1903. Our first graduates earned diplomas in 1898, when Flathead County High School was in the downtown area. So much Flathead tradition and pride infiltrates our community.

As a comprehensive high school, our goal is to provide the best opportunities for students. That’s why we specialize in so many areas. We offer an internationally recognized advanced coursework program, International Baccalaureate, where students can take a wide range of IB classes, of varying challenge levels. Consistently, two thirds of our juniors and seniors take one or more IB class. We also offer six concurrent enrollment classes, where students earn high school and college credit for coursework in different areas. STEM education is another area of excellence. Students can take advanced math and science courses and participate in our Project Lead the Way BioMed electives. They can also choose from a robust offering of computer science courses.

Career and vocational offerings abound as well. Students can join our House Construction class, where they build a house from start to finish in a school year. They can take the Heavy Equipment Operation & Maintenance class, which takes them to workplace sites around the valley. Our Work Based Learning Director can arrange other internship opportunities, too. Additionally, Flathead High School’s Ag Education program is well-known in the state for its excellence.

Flathead High School goes beyond providing excellent academics. Our activities and athletics offer extracurricular opportunities for all students. A number of staff members volunteer time to advise clubs. Flathead Speech & Debate and Wrestling programs regularly achieve national recognition. We are honored to have such passionate and talented coaches and advisors among our ranks.

Our school theme this year is Embrace the Journey. We know our students will embrace the challenge; acting bravely every day by working hard and being resilient leads to success. It’s going to be a great year!


Michele Paine, Principal