NTC Dental Assisting Faculty Wins Board of Trustees Outstanding Educator Honors

photo of a smiling woman with black hair wearing glasses and a blue embroidered shirt with NTC colors in the background

Northwest Technical College’s Siau Yean Montgomery will be recognized by the Minnesota State system’s Board of Trustees as one of its 2024 Outstanding Educators during its annual awards luncheon April 17 in St. Paul.

“I am honored and thankful to be nominated for this award,” Montgomery said. “NTC is a special part of this community and I am grateful to work with so many skilled, talented and dedicated faculty every day.”

The Outstanding Educator awards are part of Minnesota State’s Educator of the Year Award for Excellence in Teaching, established by the Board of Trustees in 2007. The award recognizes exceptional professional accomplishment and encourages ongoing excellence in teaching.

“Siau Yean is a highly experienced and deeply respected member of our community,” NTC and Bemidji State University President John L. Hoffman said. “She takes great pride in her service to our students and to the college, and invests greatly in the future professionals of the dental assisting profession.”

Montgomery is being recognized for her commitment to academic excellence in NTC’s Dental Assisting program, and for her work to share years of field experience and her personal experience as a first-generation college student with NTC’s students. She also has worked to implement Universal Design for Learning strategies at NTC, which helps adapt teaching strategies to meet individual student needs.

“By incorporating Universal Design for Learning, Siau Yean aims to remove barriers in instruction, provide equitable learning opportunities, create a supportive learning environment where every student can thrive and foster a more inclusive and equitable educational experience for all,” Hoffman said.

Montgomery also has played a pivotal role in helping the program partner with community organizations and foundations. In addition to expanding the program’s partnerships with local dentistry offices, her work was instrumental in helping NTC secure support from the Delta Dental Foundation of Minnesota to begin a scholarship program for the college’s Dental Assisting students.

Nominees for the Excellence in Teaching Award receive Outstanding Educator honors from the board. Montgomery is one of 36 faculty members from across the system who will be honored as Outstanding Educators this year.

Montgomery will be the third NTC faculty member to receive Outstanding Educator honors from the Minnesota State system’s Board of Trustees, joining mathematics instructor Gus Vettleson (2022) and nursing instructor Brenda Henriksen (2023).

NTC Board of Trustees Outstanding Educator Honorees

2022 — Gus Vettleson, mathematics
2023 — Brenda Henriksen, nursing
2024 — Siau Yean Montgomery, dental assisting