Martin Luther King Writing and Drawing Contest

We could not be more proud of our very own students here at MIS. Students from across the region submitted art and essays to the annual Martin Luther King Writing and Drawing Contest. The entries made by MIS students were incredibly insightful and dramatically creative. Great job to ALL those that entered the contest!





We would like to recognize a few of the winners…



Russell Stonesifer- 3rd Place Essay


Sadie Richardson- 2nd Place Art

Wren Chapman 3rd Place Art


Juliet Curtis- 1st Place Essay*

Elena Vatoussis- 2nd Place Essay and 1st Place Art

Ian Rasmussen- 2nd Place Art

Allie Beighle- 3rd Place Art









See all students’ writing and art in the front hallways at MIS.

*The 2018 MLK Jr. Day Community Celebration will take place on Monday January 15 from 6:30-7:00 pm at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church at 202 Brooks in Missoula. Juliet Curtis, as a first place essay winner, will be invited to read her essay aloud. Come cheer her on! Families of the winners are encouraged to show up at about 5:45 so that they can get seated and comfortable before the event fills up.  All of the winning selections will also be published in the Missoulian!

EmpowerMT coordinates this annual competition as a powerful way to engage Western Montana’s young people in thinking critically and expressing themselves creatively about the impact of Dr. King and other Civil Rights Leaders. This is also a great way for youth to call action to the current issues impacting their communities and their lives.

Last year, MIS students won first through third place in art/drawing, second and third place in essay/poetry, and first through third in the lower division. This is a great testament of MIS students’ talent and demonstration of our value in building a safe and nurturing environment that promotes freedom of expression and a culture of creativity.


Teacher Feature: Get to know Liz…

MIS is thrilled to welcome Liz Parris back to our community of learners. Liz worked in MIS’s Preschool Program from 2012 to 2016. Prior to working at MIS, Liz worked in Fairbanks, Alaska from 2009 to 2012 as a 4th grade teacher. She has taught in different capacities since 2002 ranging from preschool to 6th grade. Liz has a B.A. in Spanish from the University of Montana. Liz has a Post Baccalaureate Degree in Elementary Education from the University of Alaska.


Where are you from and what do you miss about it?

I’m from Missoula, so it’s nice to be home! Most of my family has moved back to Montana too and I’m glad to have them nearby.


Where is your favorite place to travel?

I like to visit new places. Big cities are fascinating to me because I didn’t grow up in that environment, but any time I travel to them I like to spend some time in nature. Landscapes and the people are the best part of traveling for me.


What brought you to MIS?

When I was in college, I substituted at MIS. At the time, it was a preschool on South Street. When I moved back to town after teaching in Alaska, I was excited to see that the school has grown. It was important to me that Spanish immersion was still part of the program.


Principled is the IB profile word of the month. How do you encourage students to be Principled?

Teaching 4/5 Multiage has been a great experience. I see how friendships as well as academic integrity are important skills that students are learning at this age, so I like to ask students to reflect on their choices and the effect they have on others. I do my best to lead by example and learn from my mistakes to demonstrate lifelong learning.


Any other fun facts about you that you’d like to share?

I love languages and have learned a little Japanese. My summer job is running a food truck with my husband, called Just Barbecue.