Tuesday afternoon, Lt. Governor Angela McLean presented a group of Hellgate High School students with a certificate of achievement, a banner and a check for $1,000 to help in their recycling efforts at the school. 

"When you graduate from Hellgate High School, you can go on to compete with the best and the brightest here in Missoula, all across Montana, across the country and all across the globe, and don't you doubt it for a second," McLean said.

Also attending the ceremony was outgoing superintendent of school district one, Dr. Alex Apostle.

Hellgate students Audrey Stanton, Toni France, Nicholas Heinricher, Tara Hogan, Suzi Hawthorne, and Emily Graham make up a group known by the acronym SAVE, standing for Students Against Violating the Environment.

Stanton said the group applied to the Lt. Governor's office for a Smart Schools grant called the Green Schools Challenge.

"We won a $1,000 grant to help our composting program," Santon said.

Kara Hogan described how the money will be spent.

"We did a food audit to see how much food was being wasted every day here at school," Hogan said. "We figured that we could get about a hundred pounds a day to compost. We went through the trash and we did the dirty work weighing the amount of food that we could compost, and then ultimately our goal is to create compost to sell and so we can put that money back into our school and make improvements there."

Lt. Governor McLean had just come from Seeley Lake High School, which had also won a major award for protecting the environment.