Montana to Recognize Fourteen High School Women for Computing Achievements

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

HELENA – As part of an effort to encourage more young women to choose careers in technology, the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT), NorthWestern Energy, and Carroll College will recognize 14 Montana high school women from 11 high schools for their accomplishments and aspirations in computing and technology. The award event will be held in the Fortin Science Center Scola at Carroll College on Saturday, April 8 at 5:30 p.m. and will feature four Montana IT women from NorthWestern Energy, Northrop Grumman and Google talking about their technology careers.

The NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing was created to promote the computing aspirations of young women, introduce them to leadership opportunities in the field, and generate visibility for women’s participation in technology fields. Winners are acknowledged for their outstanding aptitude and interest in technology and computing, leadership ability, academic history, and plans for post-secondary education.

National judges pick the Montana winners. This year, for the first time, two Montanans received National Honorable Mention: Samantha DeMartin from Jefferson High School and Betta Lyon-Delsordo from Big Sky High School in Missoula.

The 2017 Montana winners are:
(* indicates 2016 winner as well)
(† indicates National Honorable Mention)

  • Betta Lyon-Delsordo*†, junior, Big Sky High School
  • Samantha DeMartin*†, senior, Jefferson High School
  • Jessica Jorgenson*, senior, Bozeman High School
  • Laurynn Lauer, junior, Libby High School
  • Rebecka Lester, junior, Absarokee High School
  • Aurora MacDonald, junior, Simms High School
  • Rose Madison, senior, Whitefish High School
  • Alora Newbury*, senior, Whitefish High School
  • Ilaya Payne, senior, Simms High School
  • Bridget Powers, junior, Capital High School
  • Sophia Richter, sophomore, Hellgate High School
  • Anaka Ronan, senior, Helena High School
  • Bryndon Wilkerson*, junior, Helena High School
  • Payten Zenahlik*, junior, Cascade High School

The 2017 Montana Honorable Mentions are:

  • Christine Johnson, senior, Frenchtown High School
  • Selinda Kiefer, senior, Helena High School
  • Elizabeth Rigby, junior, Helena High School
  • Kennedy Williamson, junior, Sentinel High School

The 2017 Montana NCWIT Educator of the Year is Helena High’s Buffy Smith. The Honorable Mention Educator of the Year is Absarokee High’s Heidi Gunderson.

Carroll College professors Steve Harper (Computer Science) and Ted Wendt (Mathematics) oversee the Montana contest, which is sponsored by NorthWestern Energy.