Representatives from schools, businesses and government all met on the top floor of the First Interstate Bank building Tuesday for the official launch of the Hellgate High School Finance Academy.

Business coordinator Vicki McDonald detailed the purpose of the academy.

photo by Peter Christian

"For the past 13 years, I've been trying to implement financial literacy into the state's K-12 schools, with the goals of making financial literacy a statewide required graduation credit,' McDonald said.

She introduced several of the academy board members at the event, including Diane Beck of Windemere Realty, Lisa Hendrix, principal of Hellgate High School, and Dr. Alex Apostle, superintendent of Missoula School District One.

photo by Peter Christian

Mike Oberjohann with Great American Insurance Group presented a check for $1,000 to help fund the academy.

The Finance Academy lead teacher and one of the driving forces behind the academy, Beth Huguet, presented the curriculum pathway that makes up the academy

There were several students from Hellgate High School at the event, including freshmen ambassadors Ari Jaffe and Annika Erickson.