Educator Award Winners Bios
Kathy Aikin | Reno, Nevada
2013 Nevada Affiliate
Hug Proctor High School
Kathy Aikin started her teaching career 19 years ago in the Business Department at McQueen High School in Reno, Nevada. She is currently a member of the Career and Technical Education department at Procter R. Hug High School, also in Reno, where she teaches Computer Literacy, Web Design, Advanced Web Design, and Graphic Design; she is also the campus technology coordinator. Kathy graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno with a major in Business Education and a minor in German; she earned her Master’s in Educational Technology from Lesley University. She is a member of CUE-NV (Computer Using Educators of Nevada) and NACTE (Nevada Association for Career and Technical Education). Kathy loves working with her students and is constantly amazed by their creativity and ingenuity. And every day she learns as much - or more - from them as they learn from her.
At home, Kathy loves spending time with her husband Brian and their three children Anna, Mitch, and Emily.
Sam Alexander | Chandler, Arizona
2013 Arizona Affiliate
Chandler High School
Sam Alexander, the computer science and robotics teacher at Chandler High School, has been leading the program for 8 years. He teaches an introductory class that covers computer maintenance, programming, web design, and networking. After, with a high retention rate, his students learn software engineering, IB/AP Java, robotics, and computer maintenance from him. His robotics class competes in the FIRST robotics competition as well as mentors feeder schools in the FIRST Lego League. At this past Phoenix Regional they won the Engineering Inspiration Award and went on to the Championship Event in St. Louis, MO. Of the team that is dedicated in that competition over half of them are girls. He enjoys supporting both staff and students when it comes to computing. At home he and his wife have adopted kids and do foster care. They have six permanent kids and one foster child. It is never a dull moment. Their kids range from a biological 1 year old to a junior who will graduate in May of 2014.
Robert Allee | Columbia, Missouri
2013 Missouri & Kansas Affiliate
Columbia Area Career Center
Robert Allee has enjoyed teaching Computer Design, Computer Aided Manufacturing and 3D Animation for over twenty years. He treats his class like a workplace as much as possible and enjoys coaching young adults through their career exploration! Robert loves working with future architects, engineers, designers, and animation graphics professionals. He treats his students like they are his own and really enjoys the attention to detail that especially his young ladies bring to the classroom. Columbia Area Career Center is a special place that allows teachers to blend classroom experiences with real world applications and equipment. Robert tailors his content in class to meet the diverse needs of our future workforce. He believes that nothing is more fulfilling than having former students share their life successes with him and his class. Our students today face many more challenges and have more opportunities than ever before. The personal connections we make with our students have never been more important.
Rodrigo Anadon | Mishawaka, Indiana
2011 Indiana Affiliate
Penn High School
Rodrigo J. Anadon started in the Business Department at Penn High School in November of 2000. He has been using computers since 1983 and enjoys coding. He graduated from Notre Dame and IUSB with both bachelor and master degrees. He is a proud member of the Computer Science Teacher Association (CSTA) and has joined the MSDN Academic Alliance to better serve his students. He currently enjoys troubleshooting computers, assisting staff with technology, and spending free time with his beautiful wife, Deanne and his three children (Nicholas, Alex, and Nina).
Stacey Armstrong | Cypress, TX
2011 Houston Affiliate
Cypress Woods High School
Stacey Armstrong is the Business/Computer Science department chair at Cy Woods HS. Prior to arriving at Cy Woods, he taught AP Computer Science and Computer Science at Cy Falls for 3 years and at Carroll High School in Southlake, Texas, for seven years.
He serves as an AP Computer Science consultant for the College Board, an AP Reading Leader, and as a member of the AP Computing Commission that is creating a brand new AP Computing course.
He also serves on the UIL Computer Science Advisory Committee that provides input and helps direct the UIL Computer Science contest.
Over the past 14 years, he has coached teams to numerous state championships -- the last of which was in 2006 when I was at Cy Falls.
“I am honored to receive the NCWIT Aspirations in Computing Educator Award,” Armstrong said. “NCWIT does an outstanding job of encouraging young women to participate in computing and recognizing their accomplishments. I share that passion and hope to continue to see broader participation in computing across the board as computer science skills are valuable to all students.”
Julie Bagley | Salt Lake City, Utah
2013 Utah Affiliate
Granite Technical Institute
Julie Bagley has been working as the Counselor and Work Based Learning Liason at Granite Technical Institute since 2005 when the Institute opened. Each year one of the delights of her job has been to support the Academy of Information Technology. Seminars, Competitions, Guest Speakers, Summer Camps for girls, Career Forums, Advisory Board Attendance and the Academy Graduation are all part of her job description. She loves to see all the IT students gain skills and knowledge and emerge into young IT professiols here at the GTI. She considers herself lucky to be able to be a support to the IT group at the GTI. Academy of Information Technology Graduations are a highlight of her year.
Bryan Baker | Allen, Texas
2013 DFW Affiliate
Allen High School
Bryan Baker has been teaching Computer Science at Allen High School for 17 years. He found his passion for computers and programming at a very early age, with fond memories of punch card Christmas wreaths, reams of paper for LEM, and Basic Computer Games – both books. He also discovered during his sophomore year in high school he loved helping other students while in his first formal computer class. That love transported him from little Eagle River, Alaska, to Baylor University in Waco, Texas, where, after learning quite a few of life’s lessons – some of which he uses in classes even today - he earned two degrees in Education. This time spent at Baylor also helped set up the friendships which led to his first, and to date, only teaching job at Allen High School in Allen, Texas.
Bryan’s class load has included AP Computer Science; Computer Science 1, 2, and 3; Game Development; and Geometry.
Over the years Bryan has been blessed by both the quantity and quality of students going through his classes, with a large portion of his students pursuing degrees in Engineering and Computer Science, and a great many of the young women taking advanced degrees and/or leadership roles in both local and national companies.
In addition to his teaching duties, Bryan has found time to: start up and head-coach the Allen Eagles Lacrosse program; serve as Vice President TA-CS SIG for TCEA; be lead sponsor for Business Professionals of America; sponsor Computer Science Club; present numerous sessions to his peers at TCEA and ISTE conferences; enjoy countless hours of contests and competitions on weekends; and continues to live vicariously through his students as they go into the world doing great and wonderful things.
Padmaja Bandaru | Marlborough, Massachusetts
2013 Massachusetts Affiliate
Advanced Math and Science Academy Charter School
Padmaja Bandaru is a teacher of Computer Science at the Advanced Math and Science Academy in Marlborough, MA. She has taught Computer Science for the past 4 years and works and serves as a curriculum leader at the Advanced Math and Science Academy, grades 6-12. Padmaja worked as a Software Engineer for many years and taught voluntarily at community schools. She always had an affinity towards engineering and education.
Padmaja co-founded the Greater Boston chapter of the Computer Science Teachers Association and currently serving as the current co-president of the Chapter. She is a part of Tech Hub talent Working Group (TWG), a committed group of leaders in industry, academia, teachers and state government working closely to to make a push to significantly improve the computer science talent pipeline in Massachusetts and working towards the goal of having a computer science graduation requirement in high schools in MA. As an active CSTA leader in MA, she organized many professional development workshops for teachers in MA and also workshops and after school clubs for high school students to expose and encourage them to the CS field, along with Kelly Powers.
Ed Barker | Marietta, Georgia
2013 Georgia Affiliate
Kell High School
Ed Barker is a native of Conway, South Carolina, currently resides in Kennesaw, Georgia and is employed at Kennesaw State University at the Assistant Director for Advanced Computing.
He is a graduate of the University of South Carolina majoring in Electrical and Computer Engineering. After graduation he worked for E-Systems in the Washington D.C. area communications technology for DOD. He then was the Director of Engineering and Operations for eOn Communications, directing development of advanced telecommunications systems. Before starting at Kennesaw State University, Ed worked for HI Solutions developing systems for energy management.
He is a mentor to the Kell Robotics Team which is affiliated with the Lemelson-MIT Inventeam, and the FIRST Robotics Competition.
He is the NSTA (National Science Teachers Association) 2011 Faraday Award recipient, a member of the MIT K-12 STEM Initiative Committee and also the Georgia FIRST planning committee, and a board member and President of the STEM Leadership Foundation.
Doug Bergman | Charleston, South Carolina
2013 South Carolina Affiliate
Doug Bergman is a teacher at Porter-Gaud School in Charleston, South Carolina. He’s been teaching for almost 20 years, the majority of that in Computer Science. Since his first day of teaching, Doug has led hands-on project based classes simply because it made sense. The best way to describe his classes would be “structured, but chaotic with a side order of energy”. He has but one simple goal: to get students interested in and excited about Computer Science. Ok, he actually has one more goal: to get the world to accept and understand why Computer Science should be part of the entire K-12 educational experience. How can the world possibly know what technology will look like, or what problems we will face in 5 years? Doug feels that we have to be preparing students to be creators of technology tools and digital solutions, not simply users of technology. The leaders of the digital world are those boys and girls, soon to be men and women, who are in command of technology, who can program and reprogram digital devices to solve problems. And with the numbers of jobs in technology increasing every year, there is tremendous opportunity for girls to redefine the role of females in IT.
Doug believes in pushing the envelope in every way in the class, so he is always looking to network with fellow teachers around the world who see education like he does.
Jeff Blackman | Hood River, Oregon
2011 Oregon/SW Washington Affiliate
Hood River Valley High School
Jeff Blackman has focused his teaching on increasing student’s participation in technology and engineering since 1999. As a teacher of mathematics and engineering Jeff believes that the best education is a hands on approach to learning.
In his Engineering I class, students design, build and test projects from bridges to stirling engines. Students explore different types of engineering including civil, mechanical and electrical. The engineering process is reinforced throughout the year, and students learn from both their failures and their successes.
Students then proceed to his Engineering II class, where they compete in the Electrathon America or First Robotics FTC competition. Students’ learn necessary skills to complete their projects including welding, fabricating, computer programming and design processing. Students are also required to research colleges and universities for engineering, math or science.
At home, Jeff enjoys being a father and husband, Boy Scout leader, windsurfer, kite-boarder, skier, and bicycler. He lives in Hood River, nature’s playground for kids and adults.
Vicki Coffman | Sugar Land, Texas
2013 Houston Affiliate
Dulles High School
Vicki Coffman has been a public school teacher since 1992, teaching high school computer science, math, business, English, speech, and theater. She is also certified in music. She has been at Dulles High School since 1999, and currently teaches Computer Science I Advanced, Computer Science I pre AP, Computer Science II AP, and Computer Science III Honors. She received her BFA in Drama from Sam Houston State University and her MS in Instructional Technology from National University. Before becoming a high school teacher, she worked as a technical trainer and technical writer for Fujitsu and General Dynamics. She also served in the United States Navy as an electronics technician and instructor. Her students have consistently exceeded the national average on the Advanced Placement test. Knock on wood. Students also participate in, and sometimes place in, local programming contests such as HP Code Wars. Several students have placed in the top 10 nationally in the IBM Master the Mainframe Contest. She is flabbergasted but grateful to receive this award. She is also grateful to be teaching Computer Science - the most fun you can have in a high school or just about anywhere else.
Sabrina Cromartie | North Miami Beach, Florida
2013 South Florida Affiliate
North Miami Beach Senior High School
Mark Daubenmier | Gahanna, Ohio
2012 Ohio Affiliate
The Columbus Academy
Mark Daubenmier has been teaching AP computer science for 15 years at Columbus Academy in addition to math and other computer science courses. Part of his educational philosophy is that it is no longer sufficient to master the content of a course. In order to remain competitive in today's global marketplace, students also need to bring to the table other skills, such as the ability to collaborate well with others. You can peek inside of Mark's collaborative classroom by watching this video.
Kyle Dencker | Orlando, Florida
2013 North Central Florida Affiliate
Timber Creek High School
Kyle Dencker earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Central Florida in computer science. After graduation, he began teaching mathematics at Timber Creek High School. The next year, he revived the computer science program at his school with 32 students in three courses. During the next five years, the program at Timber Creek grew to over 200 students. He was able to prepare 12 new course options for these students, which includes AP Computer Science, four levels of programming and web design, and three different levels of informational technology/cyber security.
On the weekends, you will find Kyle at UCF participating in their Junior Knights outreach program where many students are first introduced to programming. Also, you may find him at one of the state programming contests where his teams consistently place within the top 5. If that wasn't enough, Kyle has also spearheaded a campaign to start a six-event state programming series called the Florida High School Programming Series with the primary goal of recognizing Florida schools with computer science programs.
Kyle is also pursuing a Master's degree in career and technical education at UCF. He enjoys spending time with his beautiful wife, playing basketball with coworkers, and playing disc golf in the park.
John Dent | Goleta, California
2013 Central California Affiliate
Dos Pueblos High School
John Dent was born and raised in the southernmost town of mainland Canada, and moved to Santa Barbara in 2002 to marry Mimi Beller and raise a family. He first began programming on the Commodore PET computer that his father brought home from work, and was hooked on technology. Now, more a consumer than a creator, John encourages his students to be on the cusp, early adopters, and integrates technology into every aspect of his classes. John teaches media classes, like a daily news broadcast and yearbook, as well as computer graphics (Photoshop and Illustrator). His classes force students into the digital space, and yearbook staffers have been known to have more than 3000 Google docs in their account in one year. John doesn't distinguish between males and females when it comes to his expectations for use of technology, and finds that when expectations are the same, results are too. In both his personal life and in his classroom, John is an early adopter, trying to stay ahead of the curve and helping his students get an edge. Most recently, he is implementing an app from HP called Aurasma, and bringing his award winning yearbook into a whole new realm with augmented reality. John earned the Marvin Melvin award for Career Technical Education Outstanding Educator in 2011, and has earned the ROP outstanding educator award two times in his 11 year tenure.
Rebecca Dovi | Hanover, Virginia
2012 Virginia and Washington, DC Affiliate
Patrick Henry High School
Rebecca Dovi has taught high school computer science full time for 15 years. She is among 10 secondary school teachers nationwide selected to pilot the new CS Principles course under development by CollegeBoard. In Virginia, Rebecca serves as the founding president of the CSTA - Central Virginia chapter and represents Virginia nationally in the CSTA Leadership Cohort. She also works for Virginia Advanced Studies Strategies, the Virginia branch of the National Math Science Initiative, as a coordinator for computer science.
Rebecca is lucky to teach in Hanover County, Virginia where every high school has a full time computer science teacher. In Hanover, she heads the computer science curriculum committee.
A graduate of the College of William and Mary with a BS in mathematics, Rebecca completed extensive post graduate coursework in computer science at Virginia Tech and Virginia Commonwealth University. She holds licenses from the state of Virginia to teach both math and computer science. When not grading papers, she knits and tends chickens.
Creighton Edington | Los Lunas, New Mexico
2013 New Mexico Affiliate
School of Dreams Academy
After a decade of teaching, Creighton took a two year break. During this time, he worked on two projects in West Africa. First, he built and improved schools. Second, he started a program that provided women small business loans. Creighton believes he did more during these two years to make the world more peaceful and productive than he did during his eight years of military service.
Mike Efram | Healdsburg, California
2013 Northern California Affiliate
Healdsburg High School
Mike Efram lives, plays, and works in Healdsburg, California. It is here where he teaches computer science and math. After introducing AP Computer Science to the school 8 years ago, he has added Exploring Computer Science three years ago and Advanced Programming Projects soon thereafter. Recognizing that AP Computer Science was a difficult first step for many students, Mike started searching for the "perfect first course" and he found it with Exploring Computer Science while attending the K-12 Computing Teachers Workshop at the 2009 Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing in Tucson, AZ. The course has enjoyed success in attracting underrepresented students into the field of computer science. Adding the Advanced Programming Projects course was a natural next step after AP Computer Science, exploring beyond AP with Java game programming and Android App Development. At home, Mike enjoys being a dad and husband, cultivating a year-round garden, and staying active running, biking, and skiing.
Holly Erickson | West Fargo, North Dakota
2013 North Dakota Affiliate
West Fargo High School
Holly Erickson is a founding member of the STEM Center Middle School in West Fargo, North Dakota and 7th Grade Math educator at the STEM Center Middle School. She earned her Bachelor's in Elementary Education and English Language Learners with a focus in Math from Minnesota State University Moorhead, and her Middle Level endorsement from North Dakota State University. She later earned her Master's in Education at St. Catherine University with a focus in Curriculum. She helped collaborate on the Teacher's Resource Guide for Ecybermission. In her free time she mentors Ecybermission teams, BEST (Boosting Engineering Science and Technology) Robotics, and TARC (Team America Rocketry Challenge) Teams for 7-10th Grade. She has taught many levels 1-8th as well as spent three years as an ELL/Bilingual Ed Teacher. In her free time she enjoys learning about Nano Technology and as well as other STEM related topics. STEM Education is her passion and loves that work is always an adventure.
Jerry Esparza | Denver, Colorado
2011 Colorado Affiliate
Thomas Jefferson High School
Jerry Esparza is currently a Denver Public Schools Teacher. This is his 5th year teaching at Thomas Jefferson High School in the Center for Communication Technology program. His main teaching focus is teaching 3D Design and Web Design. He is also a teacher adviser for Skills USA, a student run organization that allows students to take on leadership responsibilities and compete in their technology skills nationally.
In 2007 Jerry served as a panelist for the NCWIT and NSF Summit workshop on K-12 IT Education. From 2003-2008 he worked with the summer technology camp, Digital Currents, a collaboration effort between the ATLAS program at CU and the Denver Public Schools. Prior to joining the Center For Communication Technology, formerly the Computer Magnet, Jerry taught computer technology in various K-8 and middle schools within DPS. He also served as the School Technology Resource specialist, assisting teachers with technology integration within the curriculum.
His other teaching experience, include implementing the Online Individual Career Academic Portfolio across the school district. And, spent eight years as a middle school science teacher using technology as a tool for learning.
He graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Science Education from the University of Iowa and is obtaining his Masters from UCD in Instructional Technology. His most recent educational accomplishments, was receiving his Colorado Principal’s License from Denver University. He also is serving as a member of the Collaboration School Committee and the Teacher Leadership Committee for Thomas Jefferson High School.
Baker Franke | Chicago, Illinois
2011 Illinois Affiliate
The University of Chicago Laboratory High School
Since he started teaching in 2002, Baker has worked to increase the visibility and credibility of high school computer science. With much help from his colleagues at Lab, Baker helped institute a computer science graduation requirement at The Laboratory Schools. The result was the development of an introductory computer science course that is taken by all 9th graders at the school.
Baker is also proud of the number of young women who take AP Computer Science at Lab and go on to major in CS or a related field and then move on to take jobs in the industry. For the past two years Baker has seen 50% female enrollment in AP Computer Science which he credits mostly to the visibility that the NCWIT award provides to young women each year at the school.
Recently Baker has been working on a project as part of the NSF-funded grant entitled "Computational Thinking Across the Curriculum," which was started three years ago by Amber Settler at DePaul University as an effort to help instructors in traditionally non-technical disciplines include projects in their courses that require computational thinking. Baker's research is related to finding effective instructional methods for teaching computer programming to 9th graders in short, non-contiguous periods of time.
On March 1, 2011 Baker addressed a panel of congressional aides and education policy makers on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. as part of the "Computing in the Core" advocacy effort to include federally mandated computer science standards in the new Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Baker participated in the hearing as part of a panel of CS educators, students, school superintendents and advocates by sharing his perspective on teaching CS to students in grades K-12.
Baker has a B.A. in Computer Science and English from Amherst College in Massachusetts, and an M.S. in Computer Science from the University of Chicago.
Ken Franson | Wolfeboro, New Hampshire
2013 New Hampshire, Vermont & Maine Affiliate
Kingswood Regional High School
Ken Franson graduated in 1972 from Oliver Wolcott Regional Vocational Technical High School in Torrington, Connecticut. He then attended Central Connecticut State University, graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Arts Education in 1976 and a Masters Degree in Industrial Arts Education in 1978.
Ken worked at EASTCONN from 1977-1988 with high school special needs students teaching automotive service and repair. In 1988 he moved to Wolfeboro, New Hampshire and began working for the Governor Wentworth Regional School District and continues in that position today.
In 2000-2001 Ken attended the regional Cisco Academy instructor training and in 2000 he began the first semester of the Cisco Academy curriculum at the Lakes Region Technology Center. The Cisco Academy curriculum has served as the foundation for the Computer Networking program, providing numerous opportunities for students to gain exposure and develop skills in the information technology field.
Outside of the classroom Ken is a certified level two PSIA ski instructor and works weekends and holidays teaching kids how to enjoy the sport of skiing.
Steve Fulton | Sherwood, Oregon
2013 Oregon/SW Washington Affiliate
Tigard High School
Steve Fulton is a retired Naval Officer of 25 years who is now serving as the Computer Science and Information Technology Teacher at Tigard High School. His Computer Science curriculum includes Web Design and Game Programming courses followed by and advanced course in C++, with independent study courses in Python and JAVA. His Information Technology courses culminate in certifications through CompTIA, Microsoft Technical Associate and Hewlett Packard Accredited Technical Associate pathways in the areas of IT Technician, Network Administration, Security, Servers, Windows 7 Configuration and Windows 7 Enterprise Desktop Technician. After school, he is the Head Coach of the THS Technology Team. The Tech Team musters 70+ students and 14 coaches in one FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) team, four FIRST Technology Challenge (FTC) teams, three Oregon Game Programming Challenge (OGPC) teams, a Computer Programming Contest team and five SEAPERCH ROV teams including one which will be competing in the 2013 National Championship Tournament. The Tech Team and CS/IT courses were male preserves when Steve began teaching at THS four years ago. Today, fully one third of the tech team and up to 20% of his classroom students are female. A female is the team captain of the FRC team and other females lead one of the FTC teams, one of the OGPC teams and two of the five SEAPERCH teams. Two of the top five CS students at THS are female. Many will pursue degrees in engineering and/or computer science when they move on to college. And in the Technology Team Trophy Case, prominently displayed in the junior hallway, there are six NCWIT awards: four regional winners and two national runners-up. Steve holds a BSET from Texas A&M University, an MA NS/SS from the US Naval War College, an MAT from George Fox University and continuing education credits from Oregon State University, Oregon Institute of Technology and Western Oregon University.
Ria Galanos | Roswell, Georiga
2011 Georgia Affiliate
Centennial High School
Ria Galanos is in her tenth year teaching high school mathematics and computer science, in her 8th year teaching AP Computer Science, and has worked at Centennial High School in Roswell, GA for her entire teaching career. She is passionate about introducing young people to computer science as well as collaborating with teachers in order to improve student achievement. She has been certified as an AP Computer Science teacher by the College Board, served as a reader for the AP Computer Science exam since 2007, and served as a reviewer for the College Board's AP audit for computer science teachers.
She co-founded the Georgia chapter of the Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA) and currently serves as the chapter president. In 2010, she mentored two teaching teams for Georgia Institute of Technology's Operation Reboot program, a program to help IT professionals re-enter the workforce as a high school computer science teacher by pairing them with an existing computing teacher.
Ms. Galanos holds a bachelor's degree in Aeronautical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, a master's degree in Secondary Mathematics Education from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, an advanced teaching diploma from Emory University, and is currently pursuing a computer science endorsement from Columbus State University.
Denise Gardiner | Colorado Springs, Colorado
2011 Colorado Affiliate
Pine Creek High School
Denise Gardiner's unexpected interest in technology began as an undergraduate when she found that she enjoyed the problem solving process and logical reasoning required in her Computer Science classes. After earning her BA at Vanderbilt University, she worked as a computer programmer and systems analyst. Fulfilling a lifelong dream, she then became a Peace Corps volunteer in the Federated States of Micronesia where she taught English as a Second Language. Upon returning to the United States, she completed a graduate program at Florida State University to become a math and technology teacher. In 2000-2001 she piloted a year-long Oracle Academy database class in which students learn database design and SQL programming.
Denise also served as an adjunct instructor for Oracle Corp. for five years, training and mentoring new Oracle Academy teachers across the US. In 2007 she co-founded Pine Creek High School's annual technology luncheon in which prospective female technology students learn about technology courses, degrees, and careers from women in the IT industry as well as from girls currently studying technology at Pine Creek.
Sherry Garmon | Palmdale, California
2013 Southern California Affiliate
Pete Knight High School
Sherry Garmon spent three months writing two new computing courses and submitted them to the UC school system for approval. Both the Contemporary Multimedia Design and Multimedia courses were approved for credits and are now used at several other area high schools. These courses allowed Sherry to introduce game design to her students. She saw the need to take the pathways to a new level at her school, and joined with the Engineering department to found the Digital Design and Engineering Academy. The Academy is now in its fourth year at Pete Knight High School and has grown to 300 students. When the school started there were very few young ladies interested in joining the Academy, but now they comprise over half of the Academy.
Robert Getka | Janesville, Wisconsin
2012 Wisconsin Affiliate
Parker High School
Robert Getka grew up on a dairy farm in southern Wisconsin, the second of nine children. He graduated from Big Foot High School and then received his diploma from Rockford College in 1986 with a dual degree in math and computer science, along with minors in education and business administration. Robert completed his Masters degree in Instructional Technologies at the University of South Florida, where he was also a member of Phi Kappa Phi.
Robert now teaches the AP Computer Science course at Parker High School and volunteers to grade the AP exams each year. He is also involved in their baseball team, and also coaches little league. Robert and his wife Susan have three children.
Karen Gifford | Ocean Springs, Mississippi
2013 Mississippi Affiliate
Ocean Springs High School
Karen Gifford serves as a counselor at Ocean Springs High School in Ocean Springs, Mississippi. After moving to Ocean Springs from Cincinnati, Ohio, Karen accepted a position as the Career Center Director at OSHS and later moved to a counseling position. She assists students in exploring career options and college majors and enjoys the rewarding experience of seeing young adults find their path. Karen is married to her husband Warren, and they have five children: two sons and three daughters.
Rebeca Gonzalez | El Paso, Texas
2013 El Paso/Las Cruces Affiliate
Chapin High School
Rebeca Gonzalez has an Electrical Engineering degree and worked for several International companies such as General Electric for more than 12 years. For family reasons she thought she would be temporarily teaching math at high school. Instead, she ended up loving the job and choosing it as a profession. She loves learning something new each day along with her students and seeing their faces light up with enthusiasm after learning a new concept. Her students’ excitement for science inspired her to go back to school and get a Master's in Science with Physics concentration. She uses her personal experience as a way to attract more girls into the computer and engineering fields while guiding them to be successful after high school. She has enjoyed teaching Computer Science, Principles of Engineering, and Algebra for over 10 years. To share her passion for technology and latest gadgets, she coaches the computer science, computer applications and Robotics Club for Chapin H.S. She spends part of her summers teaching other teachers as a master teacher for Project Lead Way.
Amanda Goranson | Dubuque, Iowa
2013 Iowa Affiliate
Dubuque Senior High School
Amanda Goranson has worked as a math/computer science teacher at Dubuque Senior High School for five years. Each of those years, Amanda has worked on gaining support for women in computing by encouraging women to join computer science and to be a positive female role model for those women. The Adavanced Placement Computer Science class at the high school was started by Amanda and the participation has nearly tripled in the last five years.
At home, Amanda is the mother of two daughters, ages 3 and 1 and enjoys playing, dancing and singing with them.
Richard Guenther | Longmont, Colorado
2012 Colorado Affiliate
Skyline High School
Richard Guenther teaches Computer Science at Skyline High School in Longmont, CO. During the last seven years he has helped bring Computer Science to Skyline’s diverse student population. Working with Colorado University through the GK-12 NSF program, he has created a full curriculum of Computer Science classes ranging from Intro to Programming to Applied Software Engineering. Richard also has worked with area tech firms to arrange internships for his students, and in 2012 he helped establish the MAD Team (Mobile Apps Development Team) at Skyline, allowing students to earn money and experience producing applications for area investors and organizations.
Richard learned to program on a Commodore Vic-20 (5k of RAM!), and has helped promote free and open source software throughout his career. His current project with his students is establishing the Skyline Creative Commons, a collection of original digital art and sound creations to serve as a convenient online repository for students to utilize in the years to come. His favorite language is Python, but LISP is running a close second.
Michael Hanus | Fremont, Nebraska
2013 Nebraska Affiliate
Michael Hanus enjoys teaching several subjects, especially Computational Science Technology and Engineering, pertinent to youth becoming all that they can be on a path to maturing and applying themselves successfully and integrating in society. He takes pride in the young women who apply themselves and reach for their dreams as STEM career fields will further benefit from women achieving their goals for success. Michael feels that it is his job as a teacher to encourage and support their efforts to find their place in science, technology and engineering career fields.
Michael has found that teaching and learning opportunities appear at competitive events outside of the classroom. He enjoys supporting students and their peers at computer related events such as FIRST Lego League, CEENBoT Showcase, and River City Robotics. He is an advocate for teamwork and spirit.
Michael graduated from the University of Nebraska, B.G.S., Creighton University, M.S., and J.D. He also brings many resources to the classroom through his experience as a NASA fellow.
Matt Harbinger | Cicero, New York
2013 Upstate New York Affiliate
Cicero-North Syracuse High School
Matt Harbinger has been teaching at Cicero North Syracuse High School since 2004. He teaches programming courses like C++, AP Computer Science, Visual Basic, and Tech Applications. He teaches Precalculus and coaches the school’s Academic Decathlon team as well. Matt enjoys using game development, robots, mobile apps, and GUIs to teach programming concepts as well as employing motivational awards and contests.
In his personal life, Matt enjoys spending time with his wife and three children. He occasionally enjoys spending time with the family’s dogs. In his small amount of free time, he likes to read, bake, code, and play videogames from the 1980s.
Jacob Hazard | Studio City, California
2012 Southern California Affiliate
Jacob Hazard is in his eighth year of teaching Mathematics and Computer Science at Harvard-Westlake’s upper school in Studio City, California. He is also the Dean of Faculty, the Secretary for the Cum Laude Society, and is active in developing the use of technology in the school. He is the faculty advisor for the Computer Science club, has assisted with the Robotics and Rocketry clubs, and he helped manage the development of Harvard-Westlake’s online Alumni Job Board. Jacob graduated from Northwestern University with a B.A. in Mathematics and earned his M.A. in Independent School Leadership through the Klingenstein Leadership Academy at Teachers College, Columbia University. He has also taught at The Harker School in San Jose, California, the Westminster School in Simsbury, Connecticut, and in Japan through the Japan Exchange in Teaching (JET) program. Jacob is a huge baseball fan and follows every move the Detroit Tigers make. Go Tigers!
Melissa Heeren | St. Petersburg, Florida
2012 North Central Florida Affiliate
Lakewood High School
Melissa Heeren earned a Bachelor's of Science degree in Mathematics with a minor of Computer Science and a Bachelor's of Arts degree in French from the University of Central Florida in 1981. After graduation, she worked as a software engineer, developing data and voice communications products. She worked in Paris for a year on an X25 packet switch. Currently when she's not teaching, she works as a part-time on-call software engineer for MITRE Corp., a federally funded research and development corporation.
After staying home for a number of years to raise her three energetic boys, Melissa started teaching French and mathematics. A few years later she accepted a position at the Center for Advanced Technologies (CAT) at Lakewood High School in st. Petersburg. CAT is the math, science, and computer magnet program for Pinellas County, Florida.
Melissa teaches all levels of computer science in the CAT Program, including AP Computer Science. She sponsors their Game Programming Club and is taking several teams of programmers to the University of Central Florida's High School Programming Competition in May 2012.
As a software engineer, she gets tremendous satisfaction from recognizing computing ability and encouraging talented young women to pursue computer science.
David Herman | New Albany, Ohio
2011 Ohio Affiliate
New Albany High School
David Herman served over 25 years in the US Army before retiring in 1994. Many of those years were spent in teaching and leadership roles. Following six years as a commercial instructor of operating systems, applications and programming languages, he was offered the opportunity to put his skills to work in public education.
David began teaching the Honors Cisco Networking Course at New Albany (Ohio) High School in 2002, and immediately noticed that few girls enrolled in the course. He added the AP Computer Science Course to his practice in 2004, and once again was troubled by the lack of young women. To help attract more girls to information technology studies, David proposed an introductory robotics course whose methodology and content would better fit their learning styles. It relies heavily on group work and results in real-world product prototypes that often explore assistive technologies. The course attracts a growing number of girls each year, and lets them transition comfortably into more advanced IT studies. He ensures that all female technology students are made aware of the efforts of the National Center for Women in Information Technology (NCWIT), regularly recommends summer programs run by The Ohio State University chapter of Women in Engineering (WIE), and promotes the activities and resources of the Dot Diva organization.
Stephanie Hoeppner | Batavia, Ohio
2011 Cincinnati Tri-State Area Affiliate
Clermont Northeastern High School
Stephanie Hoeppner is a Computer Science Teacher as well an Assistant Technology Coordinator for Clermont Northestern Schools in Batavia, Ohio. She has been involved in teaching computer science courses for twelve years at the high school level. Her passion is teaching computer science to all students, as she believes this is an essential tool for their future. Beyond teaching, Stephanie has worked on developing computer science curriculum for her current and former school districts. Stephanie serves as a Cohort Leader for the Computer Science Teacher’s Association (CSTA), where she promotes computer science education through training and advocacy. Stephanie also serves as the Vice-President of the Ohio Chapter of CSTA and works on professional development for other computer science teachers.
Shannon Houtrouw | Kalamazoo, Michigan
2013 Michigan Affiliate
Kalamazoo Area Math Science Center
After teaching university for nine years, Houtrouw joined the staff of the Kalamazoo Area Math Science Center in 1997. Previously Houtrouw worked as a software systems engineer for General Motors and Electronic Data Systems. Houtrouw developed the KAMSC AP Computer Science program and volunteers as KAMSC's programming teams coach. The KAMSC CS Teams began enjoying success right away. CS Team victories include wins at the American Computer Science League All-Star Invitational, MACUL contests at Eastern Michigan University, the Engineering and Computer Science Contests at the UM-Dearborn and the ACM High School Programming Contests at Saginaw Valley State University, the UM-Flint, Evansville University and Miami University-Ohio. Houtrouw has served on the steering committee of the MACUL Special Interest Group in Computer Science and has been a presenter for MACUL and for the Tapestry Workshop in Computer Science. He has taught workshops as an AP consultant in Computer Science and served as an AP Reader. Houtrouw's professional passion is seeing more and more students find success in the many opportunities afforded through high school computer science. His goal is to see Kalamazoo County become a mecca for secondary computer science and pre-engineering.
Debi Huffman | Atlanta, Georgia
2012 Georgia Affiliate
Fernbank Science Center
Early in her teaching career, participation in an aerospace education workshop inspired Debi to earn her private pilot’s certificate. Today she continues to fly, and has taught aerospace classes to thousands of students at Fernbank Science Center over a period of nineteen years.
It was the interests of her students that extended Debi’s grasp to include engineering through robotics. In 2004, her Model Rocketry team decided to compete in BEST Robotics, which is continued today. The students added FIRST Robotics to their involvement in 2011. The founding students established themselves as the “LINKSters”, Linking Ideas and Networking Kids with Science. In 2004, the LINKSters began Science Night Out for elementary and middle school students as their primary outreach and fundraising activity. SNO continues to be a mainstay for the LINKSters and one of Fernbank’s most popular public programs. The LINKSters also host First LEGO League workshops for rookie teams and an FLL Qualifier for DeKalb County teams.
Active in several professional organizations related to aerospace, Debi serves on boards and advisory boards to promote education and student opportunities. She helps students with scholarships and activities that promote their personal interests.
Debi is a recipient of the 2007 EAA Major Achievement Award, the Frank G. Brewer Memorial Award for outstanding contributions to the advancement of youth in aerospace activities, the 2003 Aero Club of Atlanta member of the Year award, 2009 Fernbank Science Center Teacher of the Year, 2010 Epps Award for outstanding aviation achievement and the 2011 Frank G. Brewer Outstanding Aerospace Educator Award for the Southeast Region of Civil Air Patrol.
Debi is dedicated to inspiring students to work hard and follow their passions. Noteworthy is one student, Colonel Eric Boe, who achieved his goal of becoming an Air Force Test Pilot and a NASA astronaut, successfully piloting two Space Shuttle missions.
Keith Jackson | Oak Ridge, Tennessee
2013 Tennessee Affiliate
Oak Ridge High School
Keith Jackson is a math and computer science teacher at Oak Ridge High School where teaches Introduction to Programming and AP Computer Science. He is very passionate about growing the computer science program at his school especially among females and minorities. He started the AP class at his school in 2007 with twelve eager students who met at 6:30 every morning to take the class before school. It has now grown into several sections that meet during the school day. Keith has also teamed up with the National Institute of Computational Science to introduce his students to supercomputing. They spend time every year learning parallel programming and working on the Krakken supercomputer housed at the Oak Ridge National Lab. In his spare time he spends time with his beautiful wife Jenney and two sons Kaleb (2) and Luke (10 months), and gets on the golf course as much as possible.
Mindy Johns | New Albany, Indiana
2011 Cincinnati Tri-State Area Affiliate
New Albany High School
Mindy Johns graduated from Indiana University in 1988 with an Associates degree in Computer Science and a Masters degree in Secondary Education with certificates in Math and Computer Science. She has been teaching Computer Science in Southern Indiana since 1984. The journey from mainframes, printer/terminals, and BASIC to C#, Xbox games, and object-oriented programming has been challenging and exciting. She has attended many conferences and workshops and has devoted many hours in the summer to keeping her curriculum current. She has formed partnerships with corporations such as Anthem and Heartland Payment Systems which have exposed her students to what IT is like in the real world.
Mindy has had great success with the AP Computer Science program at New Albany High School. Her students have averaged between 3.75 and 4.0 on the AP Exam. She now has 32 students in the program, including 8 girls. These young women have an average GPA of 3.62 and currently include 3 valedictorians and a National Achievement Scholarship Program finalist. Several of her students have participated on award winning regional computer competition teams. Most of these girls intend to pursue careers in technology.
Mindy thinks it is important for young women to know that it is possible to be a “girly girl” and a computer geek at the same time. She encourages her girls to embrace their femininity while being confident and proud of their intelligence. They all wear their (NA)2, New Albany - Nerds Anonymous, tee-shirts with honor.
Kathleen Johnson | Springdale, Arkansas
2011 Arkansas Affiliate
Springdale High School
Over the last 25 years, Kathleen has seen all facets of the technology field from being a programmer, to teaching at a vocational school, a junior high, and finally settling in at Springdale High School. Kathleen teaches the CA I, II and III courses, Advanced Database, Advanced Spreadsheet, Web Technologies and occasionally Alice (Intro to Obj. Oriented Programming.
Kathleen was an integral part of the start of the Mastery Computer Applications curriculum (piloted in 1999) which started at Springdale High School and is now an accepted alternative curriculum for the Arkansas Department of Career Education. This curriculum consists of two to three core classes in which students learn Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, Internet Researching and E-Mail. Students must master each unit with 80% before they can move on to the next topic. Many Arkansas schools have switched to this new curriculum. Each summer, Kathleen teaches the Computer Applications In-Service which is required to teach the CA curriculum.
In 2009, Kathleen was one of the team of teachers who pioneered the Information Technology (IT) Academy at Springdale High School. The IT Academy has seven majors: Information Support and Services, Programming/Software Engineering, Web Site Programming & Design, IT Accounting, IT Management, E-Commerce, and Graphic Arts. This year, Kathleen worked to design the Web Technologies and Adv. DB Frameworks and test banks and served on a committee to re-write the Computer I, II and III Applications Frameworks and test banks.
Dean Johnson | Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin
2013 Wisconsin Affiliate
Fort Atkinson High School
For over twenty years, Dean Johnson has taught Math, Computer Programming, and Engineering courses at the high school level. His Computer Science classes have changed greatly over the years, and the future seems to be no exception. Enrollment in his classes has exploded since a major revision of the curriculum starting in 2007. It changed from a one semester course with nine boys in 2007 to four separate classes with 141 students in 2013. Enrollment for girls hovers around 25! Enrollment for 2013-2014 is: CS1 (32 students), CS2 (40 students), Mobile App Development-Android (48 students), and AP CS (21 students). Dean believes that it is his obligation to teach students how to think for themselves and problem solve. He encourages a balance between structure and creativity, and requires students to generate programs in each unit that of their own design.
Dean also works part-time as a Java developer for a local financial start-up company. This experience has allowed him to bring real-world experience into the classroom. He also built a partnership with the nearby university, UW-Whitewater, and has several former and current CS students doing internships there in programming. Dean also partners with former alumni from our high school to create an APCS scholarship. Through the generosity of former graduates, any student who passes the APCS exam earns $1,000 for college. Each year, Dean takes all CS students to Epic Systems (Verona, WI) to get a tour and talk from a leader in medical records software development. After the Epic tour, we visit UW-Whitewater to learn about the CS offerings.
Additionally, Dean founded FACS, Fort Atkinson Computer Science Club. The students have completed various activities such as creating an application so that students at the high school could 'vote' in the presidential election. Dean's long list of accomplishments also include the following:
- Serves as a presenter at WMC-Green Lake (Wisconsin Math Council)
- Wrote more than 30 new exercises in the 3rd edition of Learning to Program with Alice
- Published an original paper, "Who needs PowerPoint? I've got Alice!"
- Presented at the CS4HS at Marquette University
- Won the Herb Kohl Fellowship Award for Excellence in Teaching.
Dr. Sharon Jones | Charlotte, North Carolina
2013 North Carolina Affiliate
Phillip O. Berry Academy of Technology
Dr. Sharon Jones is a Computer Science and Information Technology teacher at Phillip O. Berry Academy of Technology. She has taught courses in computer programming, web design, e-Commerce, and data base programming since 2003. She established the SAS for High Schools program at her school, where the students have achieved great success. She has presented nationally and internationally on the SAS curriculum, integrating technology tools in the classroom and on computer science concepts. Dr. Jones serves as the department chair of the Academy of Information Technology, where students are prepared for career opportunities in programming, web design, video editing, computer systems, and other areas in the expanding digital workplace. Sharon loves being a teacher and watching her students grow into the next generation techies. It is a joy for her to go to work everyday.
Terra Kennedy | Charlotte, North Carolina
2011 North Carolina Affiliate
Phillip O. Berry Academy of Technology
For more than a decade, career educator and child advocate Terra Kennedy has been an integral part of our nation's youngest and brightest educational stewards. Ms. Kennedy graduated in 1999 from Winthrop University in Rock Hill, South Carolina with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Education. Shortly after, she started her lifelong dream as a teacher in the fall of 1999 at York Technical College. Her involvement with Career and Technical Education (CTE) as well as VOCATS made it possible for her to transition to the next phase in her career where in 2002 she became highly recruited as a Computer Applications teacher at a brand new technical vocational High School called Phillip O. Berry Academy of Technology.
In 2006, Terra Kennedy was promoted to Academy of Information Technology Coordinator; a role that she has held until present. As her track record has shown, it did not take long to reach success. After only one year under her supervision, Phillip O. Berry Academy of Technology was awarded Academy of the Year by the National Academy Foundation whose mission is to prepare young people for college and career success.
Eliza Kuberska | New York, New York
2012 New York Affiliate
Hunter College High School
Since September 2002, Eliza Kuberska has felt lucky to be a part of the Hunter math community. "Standing on shoulders of giants," namely her colleagues, she has found her way to the math team where she has quickly met students who have outgrown her in terms of mathematics and computer science. She graduated from University of Chicago with a Bachelor's degree and from NYU with a Master of Science. She loves problem solving and is looking forward to deepening her knowledge of computer science over the summer.
Therese Laux | Omaha, Nebraska
2012 Nebraska Affiliate
Omaha North High Magnet School
Therese Laux is a facilitator, collaborator, innovator, and creativity entrepreneur at Omaha North High Magnet School. She has both founded and developed the school's Music and Media Technology Program. Therese believes in embracing today's technology to facilitate creative learning opportunities for all students. To be a student in her classroom community is an adventure in discovering one's passion and potential. Students in her program have earned awards from the National School Boards Association, Fort Omaha Film Conference, Nebraska Educational Technology Association, Apple Digital Media Competition, and others.
Therese considers herself a lifelong learner and is appreciative of the outstanding educational opportunities she has received at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, University of Nebraska-Llincoln, Temple University, and through other, less formal environments.
She has shared her views on creativity, technology, and education at conferences accross the nation including National Educational Computing Conference, National School Boards Association Technology and Learning Conference, and Magnet Schools of America.
Ms. Laux is humbled and proud to be an Apple Distinguished Educator (2007), a "Best Buy Teacher Award" recipient (2009), AIM Institute K-12 Technology Educator of the Year (2009), ITW Educator of the Year (2009) and a Fulbright-Hays Seminar Abroad delegate (2010, Africa).
Irene Lee | Santa Fe, New Mexico
2012 New Mexico Affiliate
Academy for Technology and the Classics
Irene Lee is the Principal Investigator of GUTS y Girls (NSF-ITEST #1031421), New Mexico Computer Science for All (NSF-CE21 #1240992), and Program Director of Project GUTS: Growing Up Thinking Scientifically (NSF-AYS #0639637). Previously, she designed and developed educational video games for Electronic Arts and Theatrix Interactive and worked in informal education as a science specialist. Irene is the past president of the Supercomputing Challenge. She received a bachelor's degree in Pure Mathematics from the University of Chicago and a Master's degree in Technology in Education from Harvard University Graduate School of Education. Recently she served as a member of the CSTA K-12 national standards writing team.
Lubna Lorena | Sugar Land, Texas
2012 Houston Affiliate
William P. Clements High School
Lubna Lorena has spent her career shaping young minds. She graduated from Lahore College for Women in Pakistan with a BS in Mathematics and Physics, and went on to obtain a MS from Northeastern University in both Mathematics and Information Systems.
Lubna has 17 years of experience teaching both math and computer science to middle school and high school students. While at Olle Middle School her algebra students consistently achieved the best results in the district. At Clements High School, Lubna began as a mathematics teacher and a mentor to both new teachers and to her students. In 2003 Lubna began teaching computer science and worked extremely hard to ensure her students have the best access to the opportunities CS provides. In fact, 5 of her students have been recognized by NCWIT in 2012 alone! In addition to the NCWIT Educator Award, Lubna has received the 2011 Teacher Recognition Award, and the US Presidential Scholars Program.
Mike Losk | Saxonburg, Pennsylvania
2013 Western/Central PA & West Virginia Affiliate
Knoch High School
Mike Losk has been a Business and Technology teacher for the past eleven years. He has taught at Knoch High School in Saxonburg, PA for the past nine years. Before deciding to teach, he spent four years in industry as a Corporate Communications Manager for a software company.
Mr. Losk is responsible for revamping the computer business electives at Knoch High School. Upon his arrival to the district nine years ago, he has introduced and instructed College in High school courses in computer programming, as well as electives in graphics, web design, animation, and Microsoft Office applications. Within the past two years, he has introduced a successful new robotics program that utilizes VEX in the classroom, and has mentored Knoch's FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) after-school program for the past two years. He also serves as a member of the district's Technology Committee.
Mr. Losk received his Bachelor's Degree from University of Pittsburgh in Secondary Education, and a master's degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Pennsylvania State University.
David McKain | Middletown, Ohio
2013 Ohio Affiliate
Lakota East High School
David McKain has been teaching Computer Science for the past 20 years, first at Lakota High School and now at Lakota East High School. The journey began with the first Computer Science course at Asbury College in 1980. McKain found that he loved programming and graduated from Asbury with a degree in Computer Science. After graduation McKain worked for a company writing roll-tracking software for the pulp and paper industry. In 1987 McKain and his wife Lisa moved to Cameroon, West Africa and spent three years working with the Summer Institute of Linguistics, a sister organization of Wycliffe Bible Translators. After writing software and helping run the computer operations in the capitol city of Yaounde, David and Lisa returned to Ohio. David spent the next two years earning a Master of Arts in Teaching degree from Miami University. The Computer Science teaching position opened up at Lakota High School at the same time that McKain was wrapping up his graduate work at Miami, so the timing was perfect. Since that time McKain estimates that he has had the privilege of working with approximately 1500 Computer Science students at Lakota. Definitely time well spent!
Kevin McKee | Goleta, California
2012 Central California Affiliate
Dos Pueblos High School
Kevin McKee received his BS in Engineering Technology from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, in 1983. For over 20 years he worked as a Software Engineer and IT Manager, designing and managing systems in the avionics, medical device manufacturing, commercial MRP software, and undersea defense industries. After teaching AP Computer Science part time for 2 years, he left the business world for good in 2006 to teach full time. He often says about his decision to teach, “If you ask anybody on the street who made a big impact on their life, almost nobody would answer ‘The network guy at work’, but just about everyone will respond with the name of a teacher who had a big influence on them.”
Mr. McKee loves teaching CS and does it as hands-on as possible. He believes kids will learn the craft of programming by actually programming, not by listening to him lecture about programming. He is part of the Dos Pueblos Engineering Academy, which features a remarkable 50% female enrollment. “We actively recruit girls, and many are amazed at what they can achieve but never really considered possible. It’s very empowering!” Kevin is very proud of his female students who go on to major in CS or related disciplines, keeps in touch with many of them, and notes that they are frequently at the top of their college classes.
In his spare time, Mr. McKee likes surfing, sailing, cycling, cooking, and “…mostly loves being with my family in Santa Barbara!”
Sharon McPherson | Stafford, Virginia
2013 Virginia/DC Affiliate
Colonial Forge High School
Sharon McPherson teaches Programming and Computer Science classes at Colonial Forge High School. She earned her BBAs from the University of Texas at Austin and her MBA from the University of West Florida. She started her teaching career after 15 years of experience in government and industry and has been a teacher for 10 years.
She began teaching the programming and CS classes two years ago and has seen her class enrollment double in that time. By recruiting teams, classes, former students and friends, Sharon has succeeded in bringing in a more diverse student population to her classes. Successfully starting and sponsoring a high school chapter of the ACM this year has allowed students to keep up with current and future developments in the industry.
Sharon is passionate about learning new technologies and ideas and sharing this knowledge with her students. "I am honored to receive this award, but it is my students who deserve the praise. Their enthusiasm, talent, and passion inspire me to become best educator possible." says Mrs. McPherson.
Ryan Morgan | Watsonville, California
2012 Bay Area Affiliate
TS MacQuiddy School
This award marks the first time Ryan has been recognized for his work encouraging women, men, boys and girls alike in technology. “I am honored to be chosen as a recipient of the Educator award, just as I am honored to be able to work along side the brightest and most inspirational high school students in our district.”
Ryan graduated University California Santa Cruz with a B.S. in Computer Science and soon found fulfilment through helping underprivileged students improve their literacy and math skills through the use of educational software.
Ryan owes much of this award to his involvement with the Watsonville TEC program which has produced four Affiliate award winners, and one National award winner in just the last two years.
Watsonville TEC is a rapidly growing program that seeks to increase the representation of Latinas in careers of technology. To this end, students begin building an interest in technology and an appreciation for the importance of college as early as 5th grade. Currently Ryan is a teacher and co-creator of elementary level curriculum.
Tammy Neuhaus | San Diego, California
2013 San Diego Affiliate
Westview High School
Tammy Neuhaus has been teaching for fourteen years, including the past eight at Westview High School in San Diego. She has taught a variety of computer science classes, ranging from introductory to AP (both Levels A and B), and she has also taught college-prep physics. Over the years, she has advised numerous technical clubs and teams at her school, supporting activities and competitions in diverse areas such as robotics, cyber security, computer programming and mechanical engineering design.
Tammy has been involved in a number of summer technology programs for students. She developed an introduction to programming camp using "Alice", where she taught students ranging from 4th through 11th grade. She was also a teacher fellow in the COSMOS Summer Program at UC, San Diego, where she mentored high school students who were building computer-controlled kinetic sculptures.
Before becoming a teacher, Tammy worked for twelve years as an electrical engineer designing hardware and software for computers and satellite communications systems. She received a BS in electrical engineering from Brown University, a teaching credential in mathematics, physics and computer concepts from the University of San Diego, and a Masters in Physics Education from Western Governors University. She has been an AP Computer Science Reader, and she is currently a member of the San Diego chapter of the Computer Science Teachers Association.
As a teacher, Tammy loves to inspire as many students as possible to pursue careers in the fields of computer science and technology. Having worked in an industry where few of her colleagues were women, she is particularly focused on motivating more girls to enter these fields.
John Niebergall | Sherwood, Oregon
2011 Oregon/SW Washington Affiliate
Sherwood High School
John Niebergall’s accomplishments on behalf of his students are many. Over the course of John’s 26-year career in public education he has taught Engineering, Architecture, CAD/CAM, and Woodworking. In all of these classes, John has focused on providing his students with hands-on, contextual, real-world learning experiences.
In this context he has coached his students in robotics and taken them to the National competition where they were national champions. He has made contacts in the community and raised over $100,000 through grants and in-kind contributions. He has personally funded a Fab-lab with industry-standard software and state of the art prototyping equipment for his students. Subsequently, this has led to a student-run, school-based enterprise, thereby providing students with the experience of designing, developing, manufacturing, and marketing a series of products used within the community of Sherwood.
John developed a program in 2009-2010 and proposed it to the administration in his building. The program would be a co-taught class in which girls would design, develop, and produce a product following the template he had created in his other classes. The response was overwhelming when the class was launched this year. Two sections were offered and both were immediately filled and a waiting list was created. Because of John’s efforts 60 girls are now studying Engineering and Construction with 60 more waiting to take the course next trimester. After 26 years of highly successful teaching, John still asks questions of himself and his program: What are the barriers keeping young women from taking STEM classes and what can I do to address this? The results speak for themselves!
Carlos Nodarse | Hackensack, New Jersey
2011 New York Tri State Area Affiliate
Bergen County Academies
Mr. Nodarse teaches core Computer Science and Technology courses in six of the seven schools which comprise Bergen County Academy since 2001. He has nurtured an interest in his female students in the areas of robotics, engineering, computer programming, and digital electronics. Mr. Nodarse also teaches computer forensics, networking, and computer service and support. He has developed classroom topics which range from the initial handling of computer tools to building a complete computer system which has generated great student interest.
Mr. Nodarse has introduced his students to mobile programming languages, and how digital electronics interphases with other emergent technologies. With supportive mentoring, his female students have participated in the Annual Panasonic Creative Challenge, the Toshiba NSTA ExploraVision Contest, and the Internet Science and Technology Fair. Mr. Nodarse has consistently fostered the working of female and male students together in projects involving technology and engineering thus expanding and reinforcing the student's concept of the working team.
Mr. Nodarse has a BS degree from New Jersey City University. Mr. Nodarse has completed additional accreditation in the CISCO Networking Academy Program (Instructor Training Program), and has certification to teach CISCO: CCNA 1-4, Discovery, Exploration, Java, IT Essentials 1 & 2, Panduit, and Adobe Web Design. Prior to working at Bergen County Academy, Mr. Nodarse worked in the technology industry at Arthur Anderson & Co, Anderson Consulting Firm, Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS), and American Bankers Insurance Group. Mr. Nodarse also ran his own consulting and computer service company for seven years prior to joining Bergen County Academy.
Tenzin Nordon | Columbia Heights, Minnesota
2013 Minnesota Affiliate
Columbia Heights Senior High School
In 1965, Tenzin Nordon’s parents fled their home by foot to escape the Chinese Communist party’s illegal occupation of Tibet. Tenzin was born in Chandigarh, India and lived there until she immigrated to the United States with her family in 1998. Since then, she has been living in Minnesota. She attended Carleton College and graduated in 2011 with a B.A. in Biology.
In college, Tenzin helped co-found and establish a program called Lamton, meaning guidance in Tibetan, in which college students from various colleges in Minnesota tutored and mentored Tibetan middle and high school students living around the metro. After almost 5 years since its inception, the program has greatly expanded and is now an integral part of the Tibetan community.
After college, Tenzin decided to serve two Americorps terms with College Possible: a non-profit organization that seeks to help highly motivated, low-income students gain admission into and succeed in college. College Possible’s impact on its students is what made it possible for Tenzin to reach her full potential and go to college, as she was a College Possible student herself in high school.
Currently, Tenzin is serving her second (last) term of service at Columbia Heights High School in Columbia Heights, MN. She has 39 wonderful seniors that she has known for 2 years. Most of her students have already been accepted into college and are currently actively pursuing scholarship funds that could help them afford college.
Tenzin is very grateful for every opportunity that she has been able to seize and in turn, hopes to create these opportunities for people who may not have had such opportunities to expand their horizon, to gain a college education and to follow their passions!
Lynne Norris | Glen Allen, Virginia
2012 Virginia/Washington, DC Affiliate
Deep Run High School
Lynne M. Norris currently is the Chairperson at the Center for Information Technology (CIT) at Deep Run High in Glen Allen, Virginia. In this specialty program Mrs. Norris leads innovative courses in technology that are rigorous, encourage higher-level thinking and provide practical applications to her students. Since joining the CIT in 2009, Mrs. Norris has introduced game design, to students in all grade levels. Game design has been incorporated into the CIT curriculum both as a way to excite students about programming and as a stand-alone course. Mrs. Norris has also introduced network security into the curriculum. Striving to provide the best software tools and education possible, Mrs. Norris is passionate about her students’ opportunities and success.
Mrs. Norris spent over twenty years in corporate America before following her lifelong dream of becoming a teacher. She holds a BA from Virginia Wesleyan College and received her teaching credentials through Mary Baldwin College.
Emmanuel Onyeador | Oakland, California
2013 Bay Area Affiliate
Oakland Technical Senior High School
Emmanuel Onyeador has been teaching for more than 20 years in the Oakland school district. He taught mathematics for 6 years and then went on to start a computer science and technology academy, at Oakland Techncal High School in order to broaden participation of traditionally underrepresented groups in the computing field. In the past 15 years, they have offered a variety of courses and trained thousands of students who have gone on to college or enter the work place. As director of the computer academy, he works hard to motivate his students and keep them interested in computing by connecting them with many organizations and leading industry partners. Through these crucial partnerships, the students are involved in work-based learning programs where they are placed in internships, connected with mentors, job shadow, guest speakers, and opportunties for field trips. In his spared time, Emmanuel enjoys spending time with his family, traveling, reading, teaching robotics, and current affairs.
Jill Pala | Chattanooga, Tennessee
2012 Tennessee Affiliate
Girls Preparatory School
Jill Pala has been teaching Computer Science classes to 7th to 12th graders at Girls Preparatory School in Chattanooga, TN, since 2006. Jill earned her BS in Computer Science from Xavier University and worked as a computer programmer for Intellysis Corporation for 4 years before making the switch to teaching. In addition to teaching, Jill is also the yearbook sponsor at GPS and has served the Tennessee representative for the Computer Science Teachers Association Leadership Cohort since 2009. She has been an AP Reader for the AP Computer Science Exam since 2011. Jill is committed to bringing the highest quality of Computer Science education to the students of her school while also advocating the same opportunity for every child in her local, state, and national community.
In her spare time, Jill dreams up ways to promote Computer Science. Most recently she produced a movie to highlight the importance of taking computer science classes. You can check it out here.
In the summers Jill escapes to the simple life in the North Woods of Canada as the Program Director for Camp Pathfinder, a boys wilderness canoe tripping camp.
Josh Paley | Palo Alto, California
2011 Bay Area Affiliate
Henry M. Gunn High School
Josh Paley is a Computer Science and Mathematics teacher at Henry M. Gunn HS in Palo Alto, CA where he is fortunate to have lots of smart, hard-working students. He has helped to grow the computer science program there from 50-60 students to over 120 per year. He is encouraged by the new highs in female students in both introductory and AP courses (29 total), but he remains frustrated that the percentage of female students is still appallingly low (still under 25%).
Josh thinks that a year of Computer Science should be mandatory to graduate from high school and is a member of the CSTA Leadership Cohort, a group of about 70 teachers nationwide that are trying to effect change to promote CS education. He is also excited about partnering with UC-Berkeley on their pilot for a new AP CS Principles course.
Josh won a national fantasy baseball contest in Y2K and occasionally writes articles on baseball on the side; he is a writer for Ron Shandler's Baseball Forecaster 2011. He is an avid indoorsman as he is allergic to things such as plants, dirt, and probably fresh air. He enjoys board games and poker and is a ferocious Boggle player. Josh has an awesome wife, Suzanne, who does bioinformatics at SRI International and three amazing kids: Allison (age 14), Karen (11), and Trevor (9). He thinks he is very lucky.
Jessica Patterson | Austin, Texas
2012 Central Texas Affiliate
Lake Travis High School
Jessica Patterson took her first computer science class in high school and has never looked back. After graduating from Baylor University with a BSEd in Computer Science, she resolved to teach others to enjoy computing and problem solving. She has been teaching Computer Science since 1995 and Project Lead the Way Digital Electronics since 2008. Working with parents, industry partners, teachers, and students on the Lake Travis Engineering Advisory Board, she has been able to provide students with real world experiences, facility tours in the area, guest speakers focusing on technology and applications, and college visits where the students are able to visit classes with engineering students. Ms. Patterson feels fortunate to make her living working with the smart, motivated students at Lake Travis High School.
Claribel Perez | Bayamon, Puerto Rico
2011 Puerto Rico Affiliate
Academia Santo Tomas de Aquina
Claribel Pérez has worked on innovative projects in areas of Technology, Engineering and Science at Dominico School System of Puerto Rico since 2006 when she began working as a 4th-8th grade science teacher and Science Program Coordinator at the Santa Rosa Elementary School. She coordinated the fundraising for the acquisition of a basic robot kit, she established the Robotics Club at the school, and she recruited female students to participate in local Vex competitions. She is currently working as a physics teacher at the St. Thomas Aquino Academy where she established the robotics club (ASTA-STEM Robotics Club) with Vex Robotics technology.
Claribel Pérez has been a Girl Scouts of the USA Troop Leader for the past ten years and she has taught the girls how to prepare digital presentations and videos while keeping as a priority their safety on the Internet. The Dominico School system recently appointed her Coordinator of K-12 Science Program. She is an active member of the Committee of the 7th Regional Science and Engineering Fair for over three years. Ms. Peréz aims to further increase the enrollment of young girls and teens full of dormant talents in areas of Chemistry, Physics, Engineering and Computer Science as well as Mathematics Education.
Sanjeetha Peters | Natchitoches, Louisiana
2013 Louisiana Affiliate
Louisiana School For Math, Science, and the Arts
Sanjeetha Peters first became interested in computing when she was a junior in high school in India - the logical and algorithmic structures of Computer Programming were fascinating to her. Computer Science was just starting to emerge back then and a computer was almost too sacred to touch. Resources were so limited that she had to work very hard to earn a Master's Degree in Mathematics and Computer Science, in the U.S. Sanjeetha was almost always the only girl in my graduate CS classes. This made her determined to encourage her female students to take advantage of the myriad of opportunities available to them in the world of computing today. She has seen that female students thrive in Computer Science when they are mentored. She's also noticed that her Math students who have an aptitude in the subject often flourish in Computer Science. Therefore, she identifes girls who are slightly above average in Math classes and encourages them to take computer programming classes. Since her school is residential, she is able to sponsor all-night LAN parties where male students are strongly encouraged to bring female students to get them interested in playing video games, and eventually Game Design. Her female students are often elected as officers in the computer science club. At the end of the day, mentorship is what she uses to encourage girls into computing.
Bethany Petr | Rockville, Maryland
2013 Maryland & Delaware Affiliate
Thomas S. Wootton High School
Bethany Petr has taught in Montgomery County Public Schools for 13 years. She graduated with a B.S. in Biology from Towson University, and started her career as a science teacher at Francis Scott Key Middle School in Silver Spring, MD. She then taught for six years at her alma mater, Paint Branch High School, in Burtonsville, MD, where she started in the science department before becoming the school's computer science teacher. During this time, Bethany completed an M.S. in Computer Science from Towson University, as well as an M.S. in Information Systems from UMBC. Since the fall of 2008, she has been part of the Career and Technology Education department at Thomas S. Wootton High School in Rockville, MD. She currently teaches introductory level technology and programming classes. In addition to teaching, Bethany co-heads Wootton's Academy of Information Technology (AOIT) and works as one of the school's webmasters. In recent years she has contributed to curriculum development for MCPS, writing for Website Development, Computer Programming 1, and sections of a middle school technology class involving Android app development and wearable e-textiles using LilyPad Arduino.
Tammy Pirmann | Erdenheim, Pennsylvania
2012 Philadelphia Affiliate
Springfield Township High School
Tammy Pirmann is the district coordinator for Computer Science and Business at the School District of Springfield Township, Montgomery County, PA, as well as a high school computer science teacher. Thanks to Tammy and many other people, all Springfield students are required to pass a course in computer science in order to graduate.
She teaches Computer Science at several levels, a Robotics course, Electronic Game Design and Development, Web Application Development, Computer Science Principles, and AP Computer Science. All of her classes focus on the immediate and 'real world' application of computing concepts. She is currently having a lot of fun teaching Android App development to a class that is 50% from underrepresented groups.
In October of 2010, Tammy went to Capitol Hill as part of the release of "Running on Empty: The Failure to Teach K-12 Computer Science in the Digital Age" and the announcement of the Computing in the Core coalition. She was on a panel with representatives from Industry and higher education to talk about what a K-12 computer science curriculum looks like in action.
Kelly Powers | Marlborough, Massachusetts
2012 Massachusetts Affiliate
Advanced Math and Science Academy Charter School
Kelly Powers is a teacher of Computer Science at the Advanced Math and Science Academy in Marlborough, MA. She has taught Computer Science for the past 14 years and serves as Computer Science Department Chair and curriculum leader at the Advanced Math and Science Academy, grades 6-12. Prior to teaching, Kelly worked as a large systems computing specialist for IBM, John Hancock, and Harvard University. Kelly is also the current co-president of the Greater Boston Computer Science Teachers Association Chapter.
As a passionate educator, Kelly’s goal is to engage all students in the joy of learning how to think computationally and build student’s confidence in solving problems. In particular, Kelly has taken advantage of many outreach programs to increase girls participation in computing. Her latest projects include building a Robotics team consisting of mostly 8th grade females and recruiting 30 high school females to participate in a 10 week “Technovation Challenge” sponsored by Iridescent Learning at Google Cambridge, MA.
Sam Procopio | Seattle, Washington
2013 Washington State Affiliate
Holy Names Academy
Born and raised in Seattle, Washington, Sam Procopio attended the University of Portland where he earned a B.S. in mathematics and participated in the University of Portland Entrepreneurial Scholars Program. In the two years following graduation, he taught 7th grade math and coached soccer and basketball for two years in Charlotte North Carolina at Holy Trinity Catholic Middle School through Notre Dame's Alliance for Catholic Education Program. He returned home to Seattle to teach math and coach soccer and basketball at Interlake High School in Bellevue. For the last five years, he has taught and coached at Holy Names Academy in Seattle, Washington, an all girls Catholic high school. Last year, he created an Entrepreneurial Studies course and began teaching AP Computer Science. The program had an average of roughly 10 girls take the class in the decade before he taught, which he grew to over 50 in his second year and over 70 girls enrolled in the course in his third year. Close to 20 of his 50 students from last year will be participating in paid internships ranging from working as counselors at the University of Washington at CS camps for middle and high school girls to software internships at Microsoft.
Debra Ramey | Greensboro, North Carolina
2012 North Carolina Affiliate
Weaver Academy of Advanced Technology and Performing & Visual Arts
Debra earned her B.S. in Business Education in 1989 from St. Cloud State University, St. Cloud, MN, and began teaching typing classes in California. In 1998 Debra began teaching Novell Network Administration classes when she began working in High Point, NC. Since she loves learning new things and providing unique options for students, Debra was trained in Microsoft, Red Hat Linux, Oracle Database Programming, and Java so that she could offer more options to students. Debra began teaching only Information Technology classes upon transferring to Weaver Academy in 2002. She became National Board Certified in 2003 and earned her M.S. in Instructional Technology from East Carolina in 2006. She also began teaching e-Commerce online at LearnNC in 2006 and helped with the transition from this organization to North Carolina Virtual Public School, where she still teaches as well.
Debra loves providing new opportunities for her students, so in 2005-06 she started an FBLA chapter and focused on IT events, where she has had state award winners and national conference competitors every year in IT competitions! Debra was excited to hear about NCWIT and an additional opportunity to really showcase her girls.
For several years Debra has provided an introduction to IT to girls through a summer Tech Girls camp for rising Freshman. She has been a member of CSTA for several years and is a founding member of a new North Carolina CSTA chapter.
In herfree time, Debra enjoys spending time with her three beautiful daughters, traveling and exploring new places, the outdoors, and reading.
Seth Reichelson | Altamonte Springs, Florida
2011 Florida Affiliate
Lake Brantley High School
Seth Reichelson is the AP Computer Science and Physics teacher at Lake Brantley High School in Orlando, Florida. He is the current SECME national champion (3 time champ), IBM's Mainframes North American teacher of the year, 2009 Bright house star teacher, 2009 air force teacher of the year and 2010 Florida's school boards innovation in technology winner and has won all Florida ACM high school programming contests in Florida for the past three years. Seth is married to Debbie, who is a pharmacist, and has an eight year old daughter, Lisa, who is in 2nd grade. He enjoys playing with other "furry kids," large yellow labs "Noodles" and "Moose".
List of Awards and Professional Accomplishments:
- 2011 NCWIT Aspirations in Computing Award 2010 FIU ACM Computer Programming Teacher of the Year 2010 IBM North American Mainframe Teacher of the Year
- 2009 Bright House Star Teacher of the Year
- 2009 Florida School Board Innovation in Technology Award
- 2008 Central Florida Air Force Teacher of the Year.
- 2010, 2009, 2006 SECME Engineering Mousetrap Car Design National Champions
- 2007 SECME Engineering Mousetrap Car Design Runner Up
- 2010, 2009, 2008 Won ALL ACM High School Programming Contests in Florida @ UF, UCF, FIU and Stetson (10 in a row)
Luther Richardson | Columbus, Georgia
2012 Georgia Affiliate
Columbus High School
Luther has been a classroom teacher for 15 years, and primarily teaches AP Physics, Physics, Astronomy, and AP Computer Science. Luther has expanded what his students do with the skills gained in the classroom through a co-curricular science and engineering group called the Columbus Space Program. Students from this group have invented new technologies, built 150 pound robots, and flown experiments of their own design in space since 2002. Luther has a physics degree from Auburn University, a M.Ed. in Science Education from Columbus State, and is completing a Masters degree in Systems Engineering from Georgia Tech. These activities are made possible by support from Luther’s wife Laura and daughter Hallie.
Beth Richtsmeier | Meridian, Idaho
2013 Idaho Affiliate
Meridian Charter High School
Beth Richtsmeier has been involved in education for 18 years teaching computer applications and math at the middle school level to Web Development and Computer Science to high school students. She helped design and continues to be instrumental in the maintenance and innovation of Meridian Technical Charter High School a school specializing in training and preparing students for Information Technology Careers. Her passion is helping students, particularly young women learn how to work and find a satisfying career. She has also earned the SkillsUSA Idaho Advisor of the Year award for her dedication to helping students gain technical and leadership skills outside the classroom.
Todd Salesky | Brea, California
2012 Southern California Affiliate
Bea Olinda High School
Todd Salesky is in his 21st year of teaching full time in public schools. Originally, he taught mathematics for many years. With the emergence of object oriented/ event driven programming, he found the profound relevance of Computer Science and brought it to Brea Olinda High School. In 2005, he created the Global IT Academy. Global IT Academy is a four elective, small learning community/career pathway within the high school. As an academic program, it serves as a means for students to distinguish themselves through the skills that they have learned in the classroom. His learning philosophy is for students to apply their knowledge and skills through community service leadership.
He is proud that GITA is approximately 30% female which is over twice the national average for women in IT. He learned at the beginning of his Computer Science career that female students have an incredible eye for detail and creativity. Increasing the number of female students in his computer science classes has made his program very well rounded.
Chris Schlesselman | Sacramento, California
2012 Northern California Affiliate
Hiram W. Johnson High School
Chris Schlesselman went from being a Mechanical Engineer to teaching English overseas to now teaching Physics, Engineering, and Robotics for the Technology & Engineering Design Academy at Hiram Johnson High School in Sacramento. He believes that all students learn when they are given access to knowledge and skills as a tool for building something rather than a requirement for getting a good grade on a test. Through the process of designing and building things (both physically and intellectually) and the failures and successes that go with that, stronger, more empowered people are made.
Hailey Selch | Helena, Montana
2013 Montana Affiliate
Capital High School
Hailey Selch has been a Business and Technology teacher for seven years. She received her Bachelor's Degree from Idaho State University in Secondary Education with certificates in Business Education and History and a credential in Economics. She then continued her education at Boise State University where she received her Master's in Education, Educational Technology, with a Technology Integration Specialist Certificate. Hailey taught at Skyview High School in Nampa, Idaho for five years where she mostly taught Adobe Photoshop, as a required course to tenth graders. Next, Hailey had the opportunity to move to Helena, Montana two years ago, where she now teaches at Capital High School in the Business Department. Since moving to Helena, Hailey hasalso been able to teach either online classes or night class as an adjunct for Helena College. John Locke's philosophical concept of "tabula rasa," meaning "the blank slate" drives Hailey in how she teaches and how she interacts with her students. She is in the classroom to help students fill that slate with knowledge; built through experience using technology, creativity, and ingenuity. Malcolm Forbes sums it up best: "Education's purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one."
Elba Sepulveda | Mayaguez, Puerto Rico
2013 Puerto Rico Affiliate
Elba M. Sepúlveda has a doctor degree in Curriculum and Education with a minor in Distance Education, a master in Science and a bachelor degree in Theoretical Physics. She is teaching Physics, Astronomy, Research and Technology Principles at CROEM, which is a public boarding high school, specialized in math, science and technology, from the Department of Education. Students with high GPA are selected from the island. She is the coordinator of CROEM Solar Team which is a group of students that constructed a real size solar car for competitions. Also she is a professor at university, giving workshops and professional development for K-12 science teachers at University of Puerto Rico and Interamerican University. During the summer she collaborates with the computational physics department of Dark Energy Survey Project at Femilab. As a Teacher Research Associate she had the opportunity to get information about recent research as well as getting more educational resources for her classes. Elba has a website for Latin-American people who want to learn about Physics. This website has more than 100,000 monthly hits. There you can browse to find information about most of the Physics topics, laboratories and educational resources. Her goal is to give her students the best educational experience in classroom.
Bryan Silver | Honolulu, Hawaii
2013 Hawaii Affiliate
Kalani High School
Bryan Silver is a History, Science, and Sped teacher who believes in inspiring students through hands-on projects. He mentored the award winning Kalani Robotics Team #3008 as an after school club with a handful of freshman from his Science classes, five years ago. The team has now over 50 student members, participates in five robotic challenges throughout the year and runs a successful Bristlebots business (toothbrush robots) the team has evolved into Robotics Academy teaching interested youth throughout the state.
Bryan's classes incorporate Computer Aided Design (CAD) and Engineering. He and his students drafter plans to develop a Tech center in the Honolulu area called PERCH "Preliminary Engineering and Research Center of Hawaii," in the interest of reaching more of Hawaii's youth in STEM project based programs, outside of school. He started an after school robotics club which became the international award winning Kalani Falcons FIRST Team #3008. In the last four years they have earned 28 awards. Robotic programs are the sports of the mind, where every member can turn pro. Students may indeed build robots, but in reality it is the robotic programs that builds better students.
When there is free time, Bryan is on the water racing sail boats.
Debra Smith | Gracemont, Oklahoma
2012 Oklahoma Affiliate
Gracemont High School
Debra Smith has been teaching computer technology for the past 19 years with the last four at Gracemont High School. She has her masters degree, is a Master Trainer and also serves as the technology coordinator and Chair of the Technology Committee for the district.
Debra believes it is important to challenge her students and encourage them to exceed beyond their expectations. Her Botball Robotics team competed in regionals and earned the opportunity to attend GCER and the International Botball Tournament in Los Angeles last summer taking home three awards.
When not teaching she enjoys visiting with her son, Logan, currently serving in the Navy and her daughter, Katelyn, who is expecting Debra’s first grandchild in August.
Greg Smith | Salem, Oregon
2012 Oregon/SW Washington Affiliate
West Salem High School
Greg Smith grew up and currently teaches in West Salem. After receiving his BS in Mechanical Engineering at Oregon State University, Greg returned to school to pursue a career as an educator. His first teaching job was at North Salem High School where he was fortunate enough to be able to work with an outstanding mentor-teacher, Don Kirkwood, as a computer science teacher. While at North, he started programs in Computer Support tied to the Students Recycling Use Technology (StRUT) program, North's PGE Electron Run and Electrathon car team, and North's Robotics program.
He later moved to West Salem High School, starting their computer science program. He has been working with West Salem's FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) team for two years, coached FIRST LEGO League (FLL) teams for four years, hosted two FLL Qualifying Tournaments, coached FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) robotics teams for five years, coached VEX Robotics Challenge (VRC) teams for three years, and has hosted three other VRC events.
At home, Greg enjoys time with his beautiful wife and four children, helping coach youth flag football, soccer, and basketball teams. His family is also actively involved at church.
Jacob Stephens | Austin, Texas
2013 Central Texas Affiliate
Liberal Arts & Science Academy
Jacob Stephens has been teaching Computer Science at the Liberal Arts & Science Academy (LASA) in Austin, TX for three years. His first exposure to teaching was through an opportunity at an international school in Thailand. Prior to teaching he was in the wireless industry for 10 years.
At LASA he has been lucky enough to work with talented and motivated students capable of amazing feats. Last year his students won the UIL Computer Science state championship, and this year two students have advanced to the Gold level of the US Computing Olympiad (with many others competing in Silver). He has helped grow the number of students participating in the North American Computing Olympiad from 5 students to over 40 students each year.
The Computer Science classes at LASA have grown by over 100% (95 to 200) since 2010 when he started teaching there. There is now over 20% of the student population taking Computer Science courses each year.
He co-founded the Central Texas chapter of the Computer Science Teachers Association and is currently the chapter president. This year his students and he started an after school outreach program to a low socioeconomic middle school.
Christy Street | Highlands Ranch, Colorado
2013 Colorado Affiliate
Rock Canyon High School
A Colorado native, Christy Street graduated from the University of Colorado Boulder. After college, she worked for the City of Boulder, Water Quality Department and then as an engineer for Vapor Technology in Niwot. Teaching since 2002, Christy has taught Chemistry, Biology, Engineering, and AP Computer Science. She has a BA in Biochemistry, MA in Education, and currently finishing a Master’s in Computer Science. She has been a teacher at Rock Canyon High School in Highlands Ranch since 2004 and greatly enjoys her work. Christy has been the RC Technology Student Association advisor since 2004. For the last three years, she has coached the RC CyberPatriot Team. Her favorite class to teach is computer science because she loves seeing students get excited about programming. When not working, Christy is spending time with her two boys and mountain biking.
Derick Strode | Bowling Green, Kentucky
2013 Kentucky Affiliate
Carol Martin Gatton Academy of Math and Science
With Masters degrees in English and Student Affairs in Higher Education, Strode is an unusual fit within the technological and computer-based leadership of the Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science in Kentucky. His work involves connecting high school students to mentored research projects within Kentucky’s university system, motivating his students to reach for summer internship and research positions, and helping students connect their accumulated experiences to appropriate scholarships, competitions, and college matches.
He annually serves as the organizing sponsor for his students in robotics, cyber-forensics, and programming competitions (and is amazed by what he learns from his brilliant students). Strode leads a biennial school field trip for students to visit the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and organizes study abroad trips for his school each year.
Strode is married and lives in Bowling Green, KY.
Adam Swift | Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey
2013 Philadelphia Affiliate
Egg Harbor Township High School
Adam Swift has been a Computer Science teacher at Egg Harbor Township High School in Southern New Jersey since 2009. By attracting under represented groups of students, the computer science program has nearly doubled in size since his arrival. This year his Introduction to Computer Science Class is 53% female. Additionally, last year he had the first female student from the district pass the AP Computer Science Exam in over a decade. Adam Swift continues to try to market computer science to the entire student body in hope of furthering the program. He is also currently assisting in the running of their newly formed computer club to spark all student interest in computer science. Adam has attended workshops at The College of New Jersey, University of Pennsylvania, and Kean University to enhance his computer science classes and expand the program.
Ismail Turel | El Paso, Texas
2012 El Paso Affiliate
Harmony Science Academy
Mr. Turel is a Computer Science and Engineering teacher and College Counselor at Harmony Science Academy El Paso. He also coaches robotics teams and a UIL Computer Science team. Mr. Turel received the Adult Mentor/Coach Award in Tri-State FLL Robotics Tournament. The teams he coached went to the FLL World Championship to represent the State of Texas two times, in 2010 and 2011. His high school robotics teams won many different awards in several levels of competitions.
Marcus Twyford | Cincinnati, Ohio
2012 Ohio Affiliate
Mother of Mercy High School
Marcus Twyford is returning to teaching after forays into retail and healthcare IT fields; developing training and curriculum materials for Computer Based Training for over 1.5 million employees, supporting large scale enterprise networks, and developing systems integration software for healthcare interface engines in HL7. It is his prior years in teaching in Connecticut, Tennessee, and Arkansas, as well as his experience in industry that he brings to the classroom sharing the knowledge and skills his students will need to develop for college and career.
In 1986, Marcus and his brother started a small business in Canada, where they built and sold their first computer. He remembers the day he got the tech-bug, and he has never looked back. Technology it seems has always been in his blood. Now, teaching Business, Technology (Computer Applications) and Computer Science courses at the all-girl Mother of Mercy High School in Cincinnati, Ohio, Marcus continues to be energized to 'change the ratio' for women and show his students how technology will impact all of their lives, regardless of their interests of vocations.
"I was thrilled about the opportunities that lay ahead for our young women in NCWIT" Marcus recalls - "I had gone to the meeting at ISTE 2011 in Philadelphia, and met Ruther Farmer - and was so inspired about the wonderful things that were happening and being planned - I asked several of my students to apply for the incredible opportunity with the Aspirations Award, and to start networking with all the great people at NCWIT."
"It is an incredible honor to receive such an award," says Mr. Twyford, "and I am delighted to pass on the energy and enthusiasm of NCWIT and its members to all of my young women of technology students. I look forward to the opportunities that lay ahead for all women in technology. This year I will be adding robotics and 3D fabrication to my curriculum - let's kick some circuit boards!"
Alex Wiederkehr | El Paso, TX
2011 El Paso/Las Cruces Affiliate
Irvine High School
Alex Wiederkehr has BS and MS degrees in Science from Oklahoma State University. He also has completed all of the course work for a MS in Biology from University of Texas at El Paso. In 1968, he came to El Paso courtesy of the United State Army Air Defense Command. After playing with Nike Hercules missiles for two years, he went to work for the El Paso Independent School District for 41 years. He has enjoyed teaching math, science and computer application courses for 35 years and Energy Manager for EPISD for 6 years.
As Energy Manager, this gave him a break from teaching to meet all the principals and head custodians in the district. It also provided him with a lot of exercise since it required going through the schools at night, weekends and holidays checking to make sure everything was turned off. During those 6 years, the school district saved over 13 million dollars in utility bills.
During his free time, he taught Biology at the El Paso Community College and many one day workshops on Solar Energy for teachers at the University of Texas at El Paso which was sponsored by the El Paso Electric Company.
In 1980, he had the privilege to work with the El Paso Independent School District secondary Math and Science consultants to develop the Science Technology Program for Gifted 7th/8th grade students. For the next 12 years, he never worked so hard.
For 34 years, he has coached UIL slide rule (prior to 1980) and calculator teams that went to regional and state math tournaments (almost) every year.
"Mr. Weiderkehr is an amazing teacher, because he realizes that people make mistakes. He believes in second chances and just re-doing assignments until you get it just right. He's not a teacher to feel awkward around and he's always all smiles; he never loses his temper. He's opened my eyes to the world of technology. Prior to entering that class I had no idea that there were so many possibilities one has with a computer; infact I'd say that I dreaded the thought of having a boring computer class, but he's made it a great experience for me and I can actually that I've learned so much already. Being a girl in Mr. Wiederkehr's class is great because he doesn't discriminate at all. I really appreciate that he believes in equal opportunity for everyone and he can relate to young women, because he has his own daughters and grandchildren. He never hesitates to share his personal life and experiences with us and in fact he does it quite often and somehow makes a lesson out of it." –Christina Jeong
Monica Wlodyka | Newport, Rhode Island
2013 Rhode Island Affiliate
Rogers High SChool
Monica Awde Wlodyka has been teaching at Rogers High School and the Newport Area Career and Technical Center since 1988. She vividly remembers teaching students the finer points of touch typing on an electric typewriter when she first began her career as a business teacher. Since then, her job responsibilities have evolved along with the growth of computer technology. Because the field is ever-changing, she and her students have remained passionate about staying current and learning about emerging technologies. Through the use of classroom instruction, student-centered projects, and relevant IT field trips, she encourages all of her students to discover and follow a passion for learning, and sees her role as facilitator and coach. Though Monica thoroughly enjoys all of her students, she feels a particular sense of joy in igniting the inner geek of her female students. Monica holds a bachelor’s degree in Marketing Management and an MBA from the University of Rhode Island. She is a member of the Beta Gamma Sigma National Honor Society and has been selected by students as an Educator of Distinction by The National Society of High School Scholars.
Linda Woessner | Southlake, Texas
2012 Dallas/Ft. Worth Affiliate
Carroll Senior High School
Linda received her B.S. in Mathematics with a Computer Science Minor at Virginia Tech in 1982. She began her career as a programmer and consultant at NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, and became involved in education when her own children started school. She served as IT Manager at Oxford Falls Grammar School in Sydney, Australia for 8 years. After relocating to Texas in 2002, she moved to the classroom, and has been teaching AP Computer Science at Carroll Senior High School for 8 years.
Linda loves challenging her students and thrives on providing opportunities for them to excel, evidenced by the championship Computer Science and Robotics teams she coaches. She is passionate about Computer Science, and wants to see more students, especially women, take computer science courses in high school.
Outside of the classroom, she founded the Dallas/Fort Worth chapter of the Computer Science Teachers Association, and is currently pursuing a graduate degree in Technology Education Leadership at Lamar University.
“Many of my students continue their study in engineering or computer-related fields in college. I love the idea that I might have had a part in that. Knowing that I could have a positive impact on my students’ lives is what motivates me.”
Rita Woodfill | Helotes, Texas
2011 San Antonio Area Affiliate
Sandra Day O'Connor High School
Since 1986, Rita Woodfill has shared the love of computer science with her students. She started computer science programs at two high schools and built them into the largest programs in Northside Independent School District. For fifteen years, Ms. Woodfill taught in PREP, a summer activity-based program designed to encourage under-represented minorities in STEM areas. During this time, she was the first teacher to serve on the advisory board and authored the computer science curriculum used throughout Texas. Additionally, she co-authored an entire curriculum in C+ to encourage more interest in the high school programming course. To help her female students, she makes sure they are aware of, and apply to, summer programs such as First Bytes sponsored by UT. In addition, her students participate in robotics for FIRST FTC and TCEA. She is especially tickled that the O'Connor team that advanced to TCEA state consists of female programmers.
Amy Wozniak | Chicago, Illinois
2012 Illinois Affiliate
Von Steuben Metropolitan Science Center
Amy Wozniak has been teaching computer classes for nine years, including the past six years at Von Steuben Metropolitan Science Center, a Chicago Public School.
She is very passionate about getting more girls involved in the male saturated field of computer science. Amy Wozniak tries to initiate interest by getting young girls to participate in an after-school technology club geared specifically toward girls. This club teaches them about various software programs and gets them more involved in community related technology programs. The girls participated in a program to rebuild computers from recycled parts. They have also competed in statewide technology oriented contests winning over $4000 in prizes.
When she isn’t teaching, Amy Wozniak likes to run half marathons, completing three in the past eight months. She recently ran the inaugural Hollywood Half marathon in California. She also likes to cook, bake, read and play sports.
Tom Wozniak | Milwaukee, Wisconsin
2013 Wisconsin Affiliate
Rufus King High School
Tom Wozniak teaches at Rufus King High School, the school he graduated from in 1995. Mr. Wozniak carries a Bachelor's degree in Mathematics Education from UW LaCrosse and a Master's in Computer Science Education from Cardinal Stritch University in Milwaukee. He has taught at Rufus King for the past ten years, teaching Computer Science courses throughout that time, focusing on the International Baccalaureate Standard and Higher Level curriculum in Computer Science. In addition to teaching at Rufus King, Mr. Wozniak is the head football and baseball coach there. He is married and has three children.
Catherine Wyman | Phoenix, Arizona
2012 Arizona Affiliate
Xavier College Preparatory
Catherine Wyman has been teaching computer science and programming since 1989. She began teaching at Hawaii Pacific University in Honolulu, Hawaii and has spent 19 years teaching at various institutions of higher learning before joining Xavier College Preparatory (Phoenix, AZ) in 2008. Catherine teaches Computer Programming, AP Computer Science, and Video Game Development. Additionally, she serves as Program Director for Technology and Engineering Projects in Community Service (EPICS) at Xavier. She is a member of CSTA, IEEE, and NFHS Coaches Association.
In 2008, Catherine co-founded "Girls Have IT Day!" with fellow Xavier teacher Frances McMahon Ward. This is an annual event at Xavier to engage, inspire and encourage middle school girls in science, technology, engineering and math. Over 400 middle school girls are mentored by over 100 high school students in hands-on STEM actives. The overall theme is "You can do it, too!" and the feedback from both groups of girls remains overwhelmingly positive.
Catherine also coaches Cross Country at Xavier. She and her husband, Bruce, have 3 children and they enjoy visiting national parks during the summer. Catherine is also working on running a marathon in every state.
Catherine passionately believes in encouraging girls in computer science and STEM. "Girls want to change the world. STEM skills give them a way to do that."
Don Yanek | Chicago, Illinois
2013 Illinois Affiliate
Northside College Preparatory High School
Don Yanek is the chair of the Computer Science Department at Northside College Preparatory High School in Chicago, IL. Northside College Prep is a public, selective enrollment high school. Don has been a high school teacher for twenty three years teaching math, physics, and computer science.
Don is an active member of the Computer Science education community in Chicago. He is a founding member of the Chicago Chapter of the Computer Science Teachers Association and president for the last four years. He is a member of the CSTA Leadership cohort representing Illinois. Don is currently a Co-PI on the National Science Foundation Computing Education in the 21st Century grant, Taste of Computing. The goal of the Taste of Computing project is to improve and expand computer science education at the high school level for all students throughout the Chicago Public Schools. In 2011, he won the Chicago Public Schools’ Exemplary Teacher Award for Computer Science Education.
When he is not thinking about computer science education, Don and his wife Susan are busy wrangling their three boys: Oscar, Simon and Evan.
Carol Yarbrough | Birmingham, Alabama
2013 Alabama Affiliate
Alabama School of Fine Arts
Carol Yarbrough began teaching 6 years ago, embarking on a second career after working in the computer industry for over 20 years. She is currently in her 5th year teaching computer science at the Alabama School of Fine Arts, in Birmingham, Alabama. She feels fortunate to have the opportunity to work with such bright and creative students every day.
Carol graduated from the Rochester Institute of Technology in 1985 with a B.S. in Computational Mathematics. She then was employed in just about every aspect of the computer industry, doing both scientific programming and business programming. In addition to being a programmer, she has been a designer, analyst, system administrator, database administrator, technical architect, IT manager, corporate trainer and curriculum developer. But, she always wanted to teach high school, so she earned her M.A. Ed. in Secondary Mathematics Education at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
Carol enjoys having the opportunity to share her knowledge and experience with young people. She enjoys teaching and the satisfaction of knowing that her work matters. She feels passionately that every student in the nation should have the opportunity to learn computer science before graduating from high school.