BOZEMAN — It’s been four years since Gallatin High School opened at the peak of Covid. Since then they’ve created a unique and successful culture.
Principal Erica Schnee, former assistant principal at Bozeman High School, assisted in the transition as the city decided how to respond to Bozeman's continual expansion.
Schnee says, "Having two comprehensive high schools was the goal for the community so that students would have equal opportunities at both high schools".
During its conception, community members were adamant that Gallatin High provide the same comprehensive curriculum as their rivals across town.
"All of our elective options are the same at both schools. All of our advanced placement options are the same. We both use the same curriculum guide. We both offer the same MHSA-sanctioned sports. So in that way, it’s a really comprehensive high school experience for students," Schnee says.
The construction of Gallatin High School provided students with the opportunity to be in leadership roles and create new activities.
But opening a brand new school amid the Covid-19 pandemic wasn’t an easy feat.
"It was certainly a challenge because we were just going through many unexpected obstacles. But I actually think that has brought the staff and students closer together in a bonding experience to have lived through that, overcome that, and still established a really strong high school," said Schnee.
Gallatin High School has worked hard to establish itself separate from Bozeman High, but still maintain a part of its community.
Schnee states: "I think our students have also done a really nice job of trying to create and establish traditions that they can continue and a new legacy for Gallatin High'.
Gallatin students express similar appreciation for the opportunities Gallatin High School has given them.
"We have built a really positive, fun, exciting, hype culture here and it’s just been so fun to be a part of that". says Lily Barnes, Student Council Communications.
"We have a really great teaching staff here. I haven’t had a teacher I didn’t like all my years here and they’re just all awesome," said Scott Voigt, Student Body President.
Current seniors are some of the very first to experience Gallatin High School for all four years.
"Bozeman High has been around for a really long time and they have a really well-versed culture and we’ve just been able to create our own and work together in that process," said Kasen Ripple, Student Body Treasurer.