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Gianforte Announces Spirit of Montana Recipient: Pat Volkmar

June 8, 2018
Press Release

Montana Congressman Greg Gianforte honored Pat Volkmar, a teacher in Great Falls, with the Spirit of Montana award for inspiring young Montanans and providing them a unique opportunity to develop their entrepreneurial, trade, and leadership skills.

Gianforte’s Spirit of Montana is a weekly recognition of Montanans for their accomplishments, dedication, or service. Gianforte provides a statement about the recipient for the Congressional Record and personally contacts the honoree.

Gianforte encourages anyone to nominate Montanans for the Spirit of Montana award by contacting his office at 202-225-3211 or by e-mail at

Gianforte’s statement about Pat Volkmar in the Congressional Record is available HERE and follows:


Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor Pat Volkmar, a middle school teacher in Great Falls, whose passion for education takes his students beyond the classroom and into the business world.

Through support from the Great Falls community, Pat Volkmar launched and advises Grizz Biz, a program that provides students with opportunities to learn valuable skills, operate a business, and earn a paycheck.

Middle school students, young men and women from 12 to 14 years old, run every aspect of Grizz Biz, including hiring, production, marketing, management, and accounting. Students develop important trade skills, including woodworking, engraving, and ceramics.

Those wishing to join Grizz Biz, must prepare and submit resumes as well as interview with their peers.

The program provides the next generation with experience that will carry with them into their future careers and endeavors. They develop entrepreneurial and leadership skills as well as confidence for opportunities beyond the classroom.

Grizz Biz will build on its success at North Middle School by expanding to East Middle School next school year. Pat Volkmar is the driving force behind it all.

For his commitment to create a unique, valuable education experience and the countless hours he spends inspiring young Montanans, I recognize Pat Volkmar for representing the spirit of Montana.