Luther High School Receives Generous Grant that Supports Advanced Manufacturing Learning
The Ronald & Joyce Wanek Foundation awards more than $1.1 Million to Luther High School to further enhance Advanced Manufacturing and STEM Programs

ONALASKA, Wis. On June 22, Luther High School (Luther) celebrated the groundbreaking of a new education center, which will house a brand-new initiative that focuses on Advanced Manufacturing Learning and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) EducationWithin the school’s soon-to-be-constructed new center, the Ronald & Joyce Wanek Foundation granted over $1,139,100 to Luther to acquire state-of-the-art equipment and curriculum. This will provide ample opportunities to connect students with high-demand and high-wage career fields and support student learning that will best prepare them for their future. 

The significant financial contribution was provided following a year of collaborative efforts between the Ronald & Joyce Wanek Foundation, Luther, LAB Midwest LLC, Western Technical College, Wieser Brothers General Contractor, Inc., and other industry partners. This united partnership aims to enhance student learning, further network with industry partners throughout the community, and allow transcripted credits and industry recognized certifications such as SACA (Smart Automation Certification Alliance) to be earned and transfer seamlessly into advanced manufacturing career pathways at Western Technical College.

"Luther High School is very grateful to the Ronald and Joyce Wanek Foundation, along with our community partners, for their generous gift that will expand our practical arts curriculum,” stated Phil Punzel, Luther High School Principal. We are excited to launch this new initiative and to focus on involving students in Advanced Manufacturing Learning and STEM Education, which will be the premier program in the region.”

Starting this upcoming fall, students and staff will be introduced to systems targeted directly at Industry 4.0 skills that includes base manufacturing technologies, smart sensors and devices, control systems, connectivity, networking, automation, and data analytics. These related competencies are very relevant in many industries, including manufacturing, food production, process control, agriculture, healthcare, distribution, and logistics.  In addition, Luther will provide education in the areas of additive and subtractive manufacturing, computer-aided design, robotics, alternative energy, and a wide range of advanced engineering technology.

“Technology continues to advance each and every single day,” said Ron Wanek, Board Chairman of the Ronald & Joyce Wanek Foundation. “Through continued collaboration and understanding of the skills needed within the global economy, we believe that this will become a great educational opportunity for students and families to grow within Luther’s community.

The Ronald & Joyce Wanek Foundation is a leading philanthropic organization dedicated to supporting student success through STEM, Advanced Manufacturing Learning, and Career & Technical Education.


Luther High School (Luther) has been serving students in the Coulee region for 65 years. Luther High School’s core focus is to provide a Christ-centered education that encourages and equips students for life and for eternity. Luther High School is expecting an enrollment of 250 students for the 2023-2024 school year. To learn more, visit