Spotlight: Katie Rozas Fahrenkrug and Courtney Skare
Katie Rozas Fahrenkrug and Courtney Skare are communications specialists at WIDA and lead social media efforts for their team.
Katie and Courtney took over management of WIDA social media platforms in December 2019. They work with WIDA staff to develop content for these platforms that is relevant and useful to the global community of WIDA educators. In addition to sharing resources relevant to educators of multilingual children and youth, their goal is to create an engaged community of educators on these social platforms. To do this, Katie and Courtney collaborated with other WIDA teams to launch two new Facebook groups this year: The WIDA Educator Exchange and Supporting Success for Multilingual Learners with Disabilities. This fall, they also launched Instagram to feature the photos and illustrations featured in WIDA resources, including resources produced by the WIDA International School Consortium. During the circumstances of teaching and educating during a global pandemic, social media has become an increasingly important tool for educators to connect and collaborate. Katie and Courtney hope to curate a space for connection and collaboration with #WIDAGlobal educators on ;Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
In addition to social media, Courtney and Katie are both on the Communications and Marketing team. They develop and execute communications for WIDA projects, resources and services. For example, Katie leads communications efforts for the 2020 Edition of the WIDA English Language Development Standards and helps create resources for educators like those on the 2020 Vision webpage and the illustrated Guiding Principles of Language Development. Courtney works with the WIDA International Program team to help create resources for international educators such as WIDA All Year Long and Using WIDA Assessments.
Prior to joining WIDA in 2019, Courtney spent 15 years in industries ranging from hospitality to education. She has experience working in the field of international education as a study abroad advisor and also spent time studying and working abroad in England and New Zealand. Courtney received a bachelor’s degree in communication arts and history, as well as a master’s degree in educational leadership and policy analysis from the University of Wisconsin – Madison.
Katie is a communications and marketing specialist at WIDA. As a part of the Communications and Marketing team, her role is to strategize, develop and execute communications campaigns for WIDA products and services. Katie has a background in strategic communications and education. She received a bachelor's degree in Journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and holds a master's degree in Education with a focus on Teaching English as a Second Language from Edgewood College.
On a personal note, Katie and Courtney have been friends since 2013. Katie taught with Courtney’s husband at a high school in northeastern Wisconsin prior to joining WIDA. They became fast friends and bonded over raising children in a rural area (both had one-year old& children at the time). Today, Katie and Courtney’s synergy and support for one another is evident in their personal and professional lives. They also love seeing the friendship between their now eight-year-old children.
Courtney and Katie encourage #WIDAGlobal educators to follow #WIDA!