Faces of Resiliency

From teachers to grocers, the Flathead Valley adapts in a time of crisis

By Beacon Staff
Pauline Davidson, a third grade teacher at Creston School in Creston on April 10, 2020. Schools in Montana have reverted to remote learning in light on the COVID-19 outbreak, leaving classrooms and playgrounds empty. Hunter D’Antuono | Flathead Beacon

Teaching, Learning and Growing Together

Creston School teacher Pauline Davidson is managing her own classroom and three kids at home by looking for the positives


Every weekday morning, Pauline Davidson and her three children gather for breakfast and chat about their day. A few hours later, they break for lunch and do the same.



Jandy Cox, owner of Rocky Mountain Outfitter, as seen in his store’s repair shop area in downtown Kalispell on April 9, 2020. Hunter D’Antuono | Flathead Beacon

Creative Customer Care

Since closing his shop, Rocky Mountain Outfitter owner Jandy Cox has responded to demand by morphing into a one-man delivery, curbside-pickup and mail-order service


Earlier this month, Jandy Cox quietly celebrated a pair of milestones: his two-year anniversary of owning Rocky Mountain Outfitter and his 50th birthday.



Zach Farnes, roastmaster at Montana Coffee Traders, shows dried coffee cherries on Jan. 18, 2018. Greg Lindstrom | Flathead Beacon

Essential Elixir

A Flathead Valley establishment for nearly 40 years, Montana Coffee Traders is still roasting beans through the pandemic, even as its cafes remain closed


Most coffee drinkers have employed adjectives like “essential” and “critical” to describe their morning brew, but the coronavirus pandemic and the social distancing measures enacted to slow the spread of infection have given new meaning to those words.



Patricia Johnson and Lorien Johnson of Mountain Valley Foods in Kalispell on April 9, 2020. The sisters have converted their grocery store to curbside pickup only in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Hunter D’Antuono | Flathead Beacon

Shopping Local and Staying Safe

Patricia and Lorien Johnson chose to exclusively offer curbside pickup to protect their staff and the community at Mountain Valley Foods


Before the COVID-19 pandemic, sisters Patricia and Lorien Johnson had a typical workday of heading into their family-owned grocery store, Mountain Valley Foods in Kalispell, at 7 a.m. to prepare juices, smoothies and to-go lunches while chatting with customers throughout the day.



Trooper Laramie Stefani of the Montana Highway Patrol wears a face mask he picked up at Hartstone Designs, a new Kalispell company manufacturing face masks. Stefani picked up a box of face masks to distribute to his coworkers on April 8, 2020. Hunter D’Antuono | Flathead Beacon

A New Threat

Local law enforcement says COVID-19 is changing how they do their job and interact with the public


Every time Trooper Laramie Stefani pulls someone over, he has to take a few extra moments now to suit up. Latex gloves? Check. Glasses? Check. Mask? Check.


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