Montello Tech Education teacher wins WTEA award

Montello Jr./Sr. High Industrial Technology Education teacher Corey Foght has received the Wisconsin Technology Education Association’s award for Exemplary Achievement in Technology Education.

The WTEA Award of Excellence is awarded annually to recognize teachers for providing outstanding programs in technology education and technology related courses. These awards are to be presented to individual teachers or a group of teachers who work together to provide a specific program. 

Foght is in her 10th year of teaching, the 5th year in Montello School District. Her classes cover several career pathways including construction, engineering, transportation, manufacturing, and technology, including several dual credit classes.

Among her achievements in the past two years are acquiring several grants for donations of equipment to establish a fabrication lab that includes a metal lathe, plasma cutter, CNC mill, CNC router, 3D printers, and vinyl cutters. Foght says, “This is to help students grow in critical thinking skills; giving the opportunities for hands on problem solving.”

 Most recently, she helped the Career & Technical Education Department plan CTE Month activities in February to provide students opportunities to explore career options. Activities included tours of businesses, speakers, and a field trip to Fox Valley Technical College.

Included among the many aspects of her teaching work, Foght says, “I am trying to increase community connections by setting up tours of local businesses, having booths at community events showcasing student work, and sending out quarterly newsletters.”

Foght’s nomination for the WTEA award was accompanied by letters of recommendation from Montello Jr./Sr. Principal Yedda Olson, as well as Montello Ag Teacher Hannah Wolsdorf. Both praised her work and dedication.

Olson called her a leader in the school’s CTE Department and wrote, “Corey strives to meet student needs in a thoughtful manner. She offers a variety of classes virtually during the same period of the day for students who are ready to move beyond fundamental technology course offerings into more advanced courses that support their career plans. She has strengthened the department’s offerings by implementing Project Lead the Way curriculum at the middle and high school level, as well as becoming certified to offer some of our existing classes as dual credit courses through Madison College.”

Olson stated that’s Foght’s work on the Fab Lab grant has resulted in the creation of a community CTE committee with the goal of strengthening community partnerships and maximizing the district’s ability to ensure college and career readiness for the students.

Wolsdorf wrote, “She leads by example providing opportunities for students and staff alike to learn skills encouraging cross curricular connections for everyone to see the applications of STEM in everyday life. Her passion in the STEM and technology areas shines through every project she works on.”

“She works with community members, technical colleges, and our local CESA to find the best paths for students to follow.   I have observed Corey's positive ability to interact and communicate expectations with students who are not only in her classes but also in the hallway. She strives to provide her students with hands-on engaging labs and independent project shop time while incorporating the school reading and writing goals.” She also stated that Mrs. Foght is among the students’ favorite teachers because she allows them to create projects based on their individual interests.