Welcome to the Alumni Webpage!

MIS loves its alumni! It is great to see how students take the knowledge they gained from MIS and go out into the world to make it a better place. Below are stories about some of our alumni and what they have been up to since high school and college. If you are an alumnus, we would love to hear from you! Take a moment to fill out the form at the bottom of this page and be sure to follow us on Facebook!

A Conversation with Georgia Kazemi Class of 2013

1. What year did you graduate from MIS?

I graduated from MIS in 2013.

2. Which high school did/do you attend?

I attended Hellgate High School and graduated in June of 2017.

3. How did you find the transition from MIS to high school? What were some of the biggest surprises or challenges? What did/do you really like about high school?

Personally, the transition from MIS to high school was easy. I think the transition was smooth because I was a part of the girls’ soccer program. Participating in a sport or club introduced me to students from outside of MIS before I started high school, which made the transition less overwhelming.
One of the biggest surprises was how well MIS had prepared me academically for high school. There were multiple aspects of high school I really enjoyed. First off, everyone finds a niche of some kind, which is awesome. At Hellgate, there are so many groups and organizations in which you can find people with similar interests, so everybody finds their people. Secondly, high school is such a unique time, and I would really recommend taking advantages of the opportunities you have. Go to sports games, participate in spirit week, join clubs!!

4. Tell us about a memorable experience you’ve had since leaving MIS (for example, a trip, internship, school project, volunteering) that is really important to you and why.

A memorable experience I have had since leaving MIS was completing the IB Diploma programme. This was important to me in two ways. First, this was a big academic accomplishment and finishing the Extended Essay was especially rewarding. I wrote a paper on Women in Iran, which was something I was interested in and related to my family history. Second, the CAS component allowed me to interact with the Missoula community by volunteering through art and sports, which extended my education beyond the classroom. I think this experience has been so important to me, and I continue to use the skills I developed in that process.

5. What are your plans for the future (or, what do you want to be when “you grow up?!”)

I am studying Economics and Chemistry at Macalester College in Minnesota. This summer I will participate in a summer program called Girls Who Invest, in which I will spend my first month at Notre Dame in an immersive finance learning program. For the rest of the summer, I will work for the investment directors of Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies in Minneapolis.
For my junior year of college, I will spend the fall at Macalester continuing my studies and playing varsity soccer. Next spring, I will study abroad in Seville, Spain. I can honestly say that MIS influenced my decision to study abroad in Spain, and I am so excited to use the Spanish
skills I acquired at MIS.
In terms of my future beyond that, I am unsure what I want to do or where I’ll end up.

6. As you look back at your time at MIS what would you say has had the biggest impact on you – your view of the world, etc.?

I don’t think I can pinpoint a single experience at MIS that had the biggest impact on me, but my time at MIS has continued to affect the way I approach problems, and more specifically, it has impacted my educational pursuits. Since attending MIS, I have sought out ways to include international perspectives and critical thinking in my education. I completed the IB diploma programme at Hellgate and when deciding on a college, I really wanted a small liberal arts college that had a focus on internationalism and discussion-based learning. That is why I chose to attend Macalester, whose pillars of education are internationalism, multiculturalism, and service to society. I am thankful for MIS for helping me develop these values.

Catching Up with Molly Kauffman Class of 2013

1. What year did you graduate from MIS?

I graduated from MIS in 2013.

2. Which high school did/do you attend?

I attended Hellgate High School.

3. How did you find the transition from MIS to high school? What were some of the biggest surprises or challenges? What did/do you really like about high school?

I loved that high school was bigger, but I was sad people didn’t care about learning as much. It was a badge of honor in high school to do the least amount of work with the least amount of effort and I like effort. I like when I work hard and achieve things because of it.

4. Tell us about a memorable experience you’ve had since leaving MIS (for example, a trip, internship, school project, volunteering) that is really important to you and why.

I have been performing stand up comedy since I was 16 years old, beginning in Missoula. I started at Stensrud Playhouse, then open mics in Missoula which Missoula Homegrown Comedy ran and have been performing since going to school in In LA. I mostly do open mics, sometimes book shows, including a show in a living room. What I’m trying to get to is I host an open mic at Flappers Comedy Club 11:30pm-1am, every week which means I get stage time and can watch professionally for free at Flappers whenever I want.

5. What are your plans for the future (or, what do you want to be when “you grow up?!”)

I want to go into the entertainment professionally, either writing, performing, or development. I’m a theatre major with a cognitive science minor and media arts and culture minor (Occidental’s version of a film degree), so hopefully, I’ll figure something out. I actually got an internship at 21st Century Fox last semester!… as a technology intern (because of cog sci minor), oh well, got experience in a production company nonetheless.

6. As you look back at your time at MIS what would you say has had the biggest impact on you – your view of the world, etc.?

I am very globally minded and I actually want to learn in school. I don’t read to do the homework, I read for class to actually learn the information and come away as a stronger student and person-of-the-world.

7. Is there anything else you’d like to share?! (Please do.)

I’m graduating college a year early (class 2020 instead of 2021) and started a sketch comedy club, 2 Paws Up, at Occidental College. You can see most of what I’ve done on my website mollykauffman.com

An Interview with Ava Kazemi Class of 2013

1. What year did you graduate from MIS?

I graduated from MIS in 2013.

2. Which high school did/do you attend?

I attended Hellgate High School.

Ava and her dog Olive

3. How did you find the transition from MIS to high school? What were some of the biggest surprises or challenges? What did/do you really like about high school?

My transition from MIS to high school went very smoothly. MIS prepared me well academically; I remember thinking that eighth grade was more difficult than freshman year. My biggest challenge in high school was completing the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme, but both MIS and my high school teachers helped me develop the skills I needed to succeed. My best memories from high school came from playing soccer. I would highly recommend joining some sort of team or club because it is a wonderful way to make close friends.

4. Tell us about a memorable experience you’ve had since leaving MIS (for example, a trip, internship, school project, volunteering) that is really important to you and why.

I am a member of the Colorado College Refugee Alliance. Through this club, I have the opportunity to tutor refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo. This experience to teach ESL (English as a Second Language) has been very meaningful for me. I have enjoyed the cultural exchange, as well as seeing a family learn and adapt to living in the United States.

5. What are your plans for the future (or, what do you want to be when “you grow up?!”)

I am currently studying Mathematical Economics at Colorado College. I am interested in behavioral economics, but I am still exploring various career paths I’d like to pursue.

6. As you look back at your time at MIS what would you say has had the biggest impact on you – your view of the world, etc.?

The approach to learning at MIS instilled in me a drive to pursue my own independent exploration of the world. The freedom I was granted through inquiry-based learning gave me the skills to explore thought-provoking and meaningful questions. Additionally, I learned to celebrate diverse ideas and ways of thinking.

7. Is there anything else you’d like to share?! (Please do.)

This summer I will study abroad in Soria, Spain, for two months and I will take my fall semester off from college to travel in South America! I am very grateful for the strong foundation in Spanish I developed at MIS. This skill has given me the opportunity to immerse myself in new communities around the world.

Alumni Stories

Check out some of our Alumni throughout the years!

Lucy Simpson Class of 2011

Lucy spent part of a semester studying in Thailand while attending Cal Poly University.

Stella Gardner Class of 2011

Stella was in Valparaiso, Chile for a semester while studying Political Science at Colorado College.

Molly Kauffman Class of 2013

Molly has attended the MCT Performing Arts Camps since she was in middle school.  Her love of performing has led her to perform stand-up comedy at various venues in Missoula.  Molly is attending to Occidental College to pursue a degree in Theatre Arts with a possible minor in a science related field.

Ava Kazemi Class of 2013

Ava was named one of 42 Montana students as U.S. Presidential Scholars candidates.  Ava is attending Colorado College.

Gracie Kilminster-Bird Class of 2014

Gracie moved to Salt Lake City to attend the Salt Lake School for the Performing Arts. She was in several productions including the Utah Shakespeare Festival and a Chorus Line where she played Connie.

Nina Erving Class of 2014

Costa Rica Adventures

Wow! I don't even know where to start! The whole trip was such a unique experience and had many similarities to Mexico but so many more differences! 
The biggest difference for me was being able to have the opportunity to go with a group of 18 people in which I went on the trip only knowing three. By the time we came home, we had all become one very tightly bonded group of friends.
While we were there, we explored the jungle, visited a school for half a day where we met some new Costa Rican friends, worked hands-on with turtles during the night while they laid eggs and last but not least we helped clean the beaches on the reserve we were staying on. This is all not to mention the night we stayed on a beautiful coffee plantation called Bella Vista. Throughout the whole trip, Avery, Birch and I were the translators and communicators for our group. Being able to understand and speak Spanish was so much fun while we were in Costa Rica. This trip was life changing and I will definitely never forget the incredible adventure!

-Nina Erving
Class of 2014
Gabriella Stokstad Class of 2014
Crazy how time flies...
(As of 2018) I am going to and American University in Switzerland for my full undergrad, and hoping to complete it in 3 years. I'm interested in Cultural and Comparative Literary studies as well as International Relations, but not certain of my major quite yet! I will be graduating with the full IB diploma and I received a merit scholarship from the university I am attending.
I went on mission trips down in Tijuana Mexico the summers of sophomore and junior year, and am going again this summer! Spanish completely enriched and altered the experience for the better. We were building homes for impoverished families, and it gave me the opportunity to have personal conversations with the families we were building for, and hear their stories/hardships (also had fun bantering/chatting with the boys at the orphanage where we stay!). Spanish also helped with other language acquisition, particularly in the romance language department (I took Latin for 1 year, and French for 2). I am also taking Spanish this year, and am (thanks to my roots in Spanish) feeling confident for my IB Spanish testing.
I've been having fun participating in women's marches, gun-violence protests, and am overall excited about activism, human rights, and giving minorities/struggling people a voice to find help, and make a positive change in our society. Participated in National Honors Society, and completed all 4 years on honor roll.
Los extraño mucho!
Gabriella
Hayden Kiely Class of 2016

Hayden has attended the MCT Performing Arts Camps and has performed in MCT community theatre productions.  Hayden has been cast in the Hellgate High School production of “All About Eve”.

Calvin Beighle Class of 2016

Calvin competed in the Business Professionals of America (BPA) advancing to nationals as the only freshman in the local chapter.  He placed 25th out of 150 applicants from around the country.  He was invited to attend two prestigious camps/conferences.  The first was a business forum at Stanford and the other, a leadership and financial concepts conference at the University of Washington.  Calvin also attended the Montana Rotary  Youth Leadership Awakening camp.

“Some of the clubs that I am doing through school and have previously done are BPA, the Hellgate Finance Academy, Student Government, Key Club, Math Club, Montana Model United Nations, Spanish Club and Latin Club. This year I am joining SAVE (Students Against Violating the Enviornment) and Speech and Debate and am Vice President of BPA, Treasurer of Key Club, and was  Co-freshman class president last year, and am running for Sophomore class president this year.

Ruby Jenni Class of 2018 & Ellie Jenni Class of 2017

Ruby Jenni is off to Russia to dance with the Rocky Mountain Ballet Theatre in October.  She and her sister, Ellie Jenni, are also invited to take part in the Silk Road International Arts Festival in Xian China.  The sisters have danced in 7 countries to date as well as participating in the Ballet Beyond Borders dance competition that has been held in Missoula the past two years.

Julian Bain Class of 2017

Julian was selected as one of  30 of the top middle school scientists in the country who competed in the Broadcom MASTERS, the nation’s most prestigious Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) competition for middle school students on October 21st in Washington, D.C.

His 8th grade science fair project created a water-based lens.  He started by asking “Can an auto-focusing water-based lens be used at different distances?”  He used his knowledge of robotics and programming to design a new type of eyeglasses. “My hypothesis was that if I built and programmed my eyeglasses correctly, then the device would change to an appropriate focus by manipulating the shape of the lenses from convex to concave,”

“These talented students will be on hand to discuss their science and engineering projects with students, teachers, parents, scientists, engineers and members of the general public who share their enthusiasm for science and engineering during this free project showcase.

These 30 students were selected out of 300 Top Broadcom MASTERS, nearly 2,500 applicants and more than 6,000 students who were nominated.” from the Broadcom MASTERS website

Georgia Walker-Keleher and Grace Gibson-Snyder Class of 2017

In the summer of 2018 two MIS alumni, Georgia and Grace, 2017 MIS graduates, attended a global leadership forum in Montezuma, New Mexico. The forum was 18 days filled with stories and workshops about the UWC Movement which aims at creating globally minded citizens and problem solvers. Georgia and Grace were two of fifty students from around the world who got to attend this forum and they both learned to work and meet with new people their age from new places. The forum asked participants to think of a problem they face locally at home and while at this forum, develop solutions to take back home. Grace chose to work on the problem of single-use plastics and the pollution they cause. Georgia chose to work on how to encourage young people who interact with phones and devices to develop better relationships beyond their devices with the community and the people close to them.

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