“On behalf of all Montanans, I want to thank you — thank you for making Montana’s future brighter than is already is today.”

Those were the words of Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, who traveled to Great Falls from Helena Tuesday to speak at the opening convocation of Great Falls Public Schools employees in the CMR fieldhouse.

Bullock praised the teachers and other staff for finding success, and he challenged them to continue building on those successes.

“Find ways to engage your students in learning,” he said. ” Make education relevant to their lives.”

Bullock assured the GFHS employees that he and his administration will work to “ensure you have the tools and resources necessary to do your job.”

“We recognize that your work matters,” Bullock said. “You’re setting students on a path of lifelong learning and achievement.”

Joining the governor at the convocation was Montana Superintendent of Schools Denise Juneau.

“Great Falls has a lot to be proud of, and each of you has the power to make this the best year ever for your students,” Juneau said. “If our kids are going to thrive, each student must have one adult at school that they can turn to.”

Great Falls Superintendent Tammy Lacy, who is beginning her second year in the position, said there is no doubt that teachers and support staff make an impact — both individually, collaboratively and cumulatively.

“I expect you to strive for student achievement,” Lacey said.