Simms High School

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 recognized 20 Montana high school women from 12 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 6 and features four Montana IT women from NorthWestern Energy, Northrop Grumman and SRI international 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.

2019 Montana Winners:

Isabelle Melton, senior, Capital High School (2018 winner also)

Lauren Helbling, senior, Capital High School

Jenna Bingham, senior, Helena High School

Alyson Rake, junior, Helena High School

Bailee Sjostrom, junior, Sentinel High School, (2018 winner also)

Nicole Williams, senior, Seeley-Swan High School (2018 winner also)

Samielle Connerton, senior, Hobson High School

Elizabeth Hickey, sophomore, Hobson High School

Tally Humphrey, senior, Billings West High School

Sophie Hiltner, sophomore, Red Lodge High School

Josie Baggett, junior, Hamilton High School

Lauren Good, senior, Great Falls High School

Madison Wiegand, senior, Simms High School

2019 Montana Honorable Mention:

Audrey Senecal, senior, Helena High School

Laurel Maronick, first-year, Helena High School

Brice Curry, senior, Sentinel High School

Diane Lipka, senior, Flathead High School

2019 National Certificate of Distinction:

Sonja Severtson, senior, Helena High School

Jean Blackman, senior, Cascade High School

Mackenzie Wiegand, senior, Simms High School


The 2019 Montana Educator of the Year is Hobson High School’s Michael Poser and Honorable Mention Educator is Helena High’s Buffy Smith (who has been Educator of the Year multiple times).

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

NCWIT is the National Center for Women & Information Technology, a non-profit coalition of over 200 prominent corporations, academic institutions, government agencies, and nonprofits working to improve U.S. innovation, competitiveness, and workforce sustainability by increasing women’s participation in IT. NCWIT’s work spans K-12 and higher education through industry and academic careers. Find out more at