CSTA 2014 Board of Directors Candidates


In 2014, elections will be held for the following positions on the CSTA Board of Directors:

9–12 Representative (1 position): A 9–12 classroom teacher who is currently teaching computer science at the high school level.

At-Large Representative (1 position): An educator with responsibilities for K–12 CS education.

International Representative (1 position): An international (outside the United States) classroom teacher who is currently teaching or promoting computer science at the pre-collegiate level.

School District Representative (1 position): An administrator whose focus is technology or curriculum across multiple schools.

Teacher Education Representative (1 position): A college- or university-level faculty member who has primary responsibility for the instruction of pre-service and/or in-service teachers of computer science and/or computing disciplines.

University Faculty Representative (1 position): A faculty member from a university computing department offering graduate degrees in computer science.

Below please find information from the candidates selected for each position based upon the nominations received by the CSTA Elections and Nominations Committee.


Candidates for At–Large Representative:
MYRA DEISTER


Personal Statement
I was drawn to computer science nearly 20 years ago and moved to another school district for the opportunity to teach computer science. Over the years, I have increased enrollment in computer-related classes and have promoted computer science education. In addition, I have convinced my local school board to recognize CS Ed Week, have been consulting with assembly people to recognize CS Ed Week, and have been actively involved in the Southern California Chapter of CSTA. I desire to serve on the board of directors because CSTA offers many resources for computer teachers and promotes the need for computer science education. I want to assist in furthering these opportunities and to support teachers with recruiting and curriculum ideas to aid them in retaining their students and growing their enrollments.

What experiences and/or interests in K-12 computer science/information technology education qualify you to serve as a leader for the organization?
As an active member of my local chapter, I have presented at our meetings both the information I gathered at conference attendance and my experience with new learning strategies and curriculum that I have used to increase the interest and understanding of the students on my campus in computer science. I also serve on the Computer Science curriculum committee for my district where I share the importance of computer science with district officials and have taken on the leadership role in negotiating articulation agreements with the local community college and state college for the district computer courses.

What previous experience do you have with CSTA?
My experience with CSTA includes serving as the K-12 Board Representative for 2 years and the At-Large Representative for 4 years. As a board member I have served on the membership committee, submitted blog posts, participated in the CSTA Listserv, served on and wrote the rubric for the mini-grant selection committee, participated in the K-8 Twitter chats, consulted with state assembly people, assisted other teachers with starting computer science classes at their schools, and have served as Governing Committee Chair. I continue to promote membership in CSTA to all teachers when I attend conferences and other school sites.

What leadership skills do you have that would enrich the Board and the organization?
I have honed my leadership skills through my participation as a local chapter officer, accreditation team member, local Computer Using Educators (CUE) board member and campus representative and negotiations team member for the teachers union. Through my service in these organizations I have learned to present my point of view succinctly, listen to others, and suggest time efficient solutions to problems. I have, in every position, carried through with assigned tasks promptly and researched and presented innovative solutions. I have been adding digital solutions for the teachers union through a website and moving the yearly survey from paper to cloud-based.

What do you think are the most important issues for K-12 computer science education?
The important issues facing computer science education are the acceptance of computer science as a core discipline, professional development and lack of diversity in the computer science classes. The recent "Hour of Code" campaign has help to bring awareness of computer science to the public and legislators. CSTA and the local chapters need to use this awareness to continue to push for acceptance as part of the core disciplines. Additionally, there is a need for more professional development to assist with recruitment, pedagogy and curriculum. Teachers need recruitment strategies and teaching strategies to support a more diverse student population.

EUGENE LEMON

Personal Statement
I have more than 30 years of experience in the computer technology field, both as a teacher and a business consultant, assisting companies with the implementation of their accounting and other business software packages. As a teacher I've honed my skills working at a continuation high school with disadvantaged at-risk urban youth that have had difficulties succeeding in traditional high school settings. Through the years I've developed strategies to make learning an overall positive experience for my students while helping them develop the necessary core academic skills that will enable them to become life-long learners and productive citizens once they graduate from high school.

What experiences and/or interests in K-12 computer science/information technology education qualify you to serve as a leader for the organization?
My experiences as a member of numerous computer science advisory committees has given me an understanding of the Groupthink mentality and how I can avoid its go along to get along thinking process. I make every attempt to keep my eye on the prize by always focusing my concerns on the classroom, teacher, and students and not on satisfying group member's perceived wishes. Being an underrepresented minority I've experienced situations in my youth whereas at times I've been discouraged by some teachers as I tried to achieve a positive outcome in my attempted endeavor. When I'm elected I will strive to give the board members some understanding of the plight of minorities students and how the systems turns them off.

What previous experience do you have with CSTA?
My first experience with CSTA was when I signed up for one of its TECS workshops. After attending a number of TECS sessions I became aware of the inequities that were present in computer science education. This epiphany caused me to change my focus from only being concerned with my students in my classroom to one of concern for all the students in my district. Subsequently I was asked to be one of the founding members of the CSTA Leadership Cohort. In this position I established the Golden Gate Chapter and have held the office of president since its inception.

What leadership skills do you have that would enrich the Board and the organization?
I have a knack for getting people together and motivating them in make strenuous efforts in achieving a given goal. When a chapter member approaches me with an idea I have the mindset to look at the proposal as a glass half full as opposed to one where the glass is half empty. By this I mean I will listen to an idea whether or not my initial thought is a positive one and give the proposer my true thoughts regarding the idea.

What do you think are the most important issues for K-12 computer science education?
Attempts should be made to increase the number of instructors teaching computer science, not only CS teachers but teachers across all disciplines. Another is to have computer science become a mandated subject across the nation giving every youngster the necessary skills they'll need to become productive citizens; skills that will enable them to adapt to new technology as it evolves. Finally I want the CSTA to not forget our youngsters that are caught up in the juvenile justice system, We shouldn't forget them by making sure they also have the opportunity to learn about the beauty and joy of computing.

Candidates for 9–12 Representative:
LAURA BLANKENSHIP


Personal Statement
I want to be a member of the CSTA board because I believe in its mission to support Computer Science Education and Teachers. I have enjoyed working with my local chapter and being an advocate for Computer Science locally. I see working with the CSTA at the national level as an opportunity to expand that advocacy beyond my local area. I believe I am a strong candidate because I bring the perspective of working at an all-girls' school and I know CSTA is working hard to bring more women into the field. I also enjoy supporting teachers and helping to give them the tools they need to succeed, whether that's training, curriculum ideas, or help in making the argument for CS in their school.

What experiences and/or interests in K-12 computer science/information technology education qualify you to serve as a leader for the organization?
I have been involved in CS Education since about 2003 when I ran a multimedia program at Bryn Mawr College, an all-women's college. I taught web development using HTML/CSS and PHP. I also taught Flash Animation and Actionscript. Many of my former students worked in the technology industry after graduation, including one who spent a few years at Twitter. In 2010, I moved into K-12 education and now get to teach CS full time both in middle and high school, primarily using Scratch at the MS level and Python at the HS level.

What previous experience do you have with CSTA?
I have been a member of the Philadelphia chapter for the last two years. I also attended the CSTA conference in 2011 and presented in 2013. I'm an avid reader of the CSTA blog and The CSTA Voice and have also taken advantage of the many resources on the CSTA web site. Those resources have been especially helpful in advocating for CS at my school.

What leadership skills do you have that would enrich the Board and the organization?
I'm involved in many leadership roles at my school. I'm currently serving as chair of two committees. I also served as co-chair of the Innovative Teaching committee for our accreditation process. In addition to my committee work, I also spearheaded our 9th grade faculty through the process of implementing a 1-to-1 laptop program. That process included selecting a platform, determining policies and costs, and transforming the curriculum. These experiences involve school-wide initiatives and projects. I feel they've given me experience in guiding disparate groups of people through complex issues.

What do you think are the most important issues for K-12 computer science education?
The biggest challenge facing computer science education is its absence in so many schools. Computer Science should be recognized as a key discipline in the 21st century. If we get Computer Science to "count" or even be required at some levels, we can solve some of the other issues facing computer science education, such as gender equity, and the lack of students from other underrepresented groups. Making sure all students are exposed to Computer Science early in their education and consistently throughout will create interest among a more diverse group of students.

GERRI LYNNE RYAN

Personal Statement
Our computing world has changed greatly since as a cooperative education student I unpacked an IBM PC, loaded the operating system and BASIC from a dozen 5 1/4 inch floppy disks onto its spacious 10MB hard drive. Today our "computers" look very different; tablets, smartphones, Google glass, and they are in our appliances, our cars and even our clothes. The world today is very different from when I was a teenager and the future will be just as different for the teenagers we teach today. I want to empower as many students as possible with the computational thinking knowledge and skills to succeed in their future, whatever that may look like. Computer science education is a critical step in making this happen.

What experiences and/or interests in K-12 computer science/information technology education qualify you to serve as a leader for the organization?
Through local advocacy efforts I have developed a successful, growing computer science program at my high school in Fort Worth, TX, finding opportunities for my students, both in and out of the classroom, to learn about the breadth of computer science, not just coding, and to share their knowledge with others. Activities include hosting an annual open house, holding a CS summer camp, teaching over 2,000 K-6 graders in our district an "hour of code", and participating in IBM's Master the Mainframe and ACSL's contests. This has led more than 40 to major in computer science or engineering.

What previous experience do you have with CSTA?
I have been a CSTA cohort (now Computer Science Advocacy Leadership Team) member representing the Dallas-Fort Worth area of Texas for four years and awarded CSTA Advocate of the year for 2012. Last year I served on the planning committee for CSTA's Advocacy Day workshop. I am currently collaborating with other Texas cohorts to provide recommendations based on feedback from regional computer science teachers for the implementation of new graduation requirements that could expand computer science education in Texas.

What leadership skills do you have that would enrich the Board and the organization?
Five years ago I read a newspaper article in February about Athletic Signing Day that asked "why do we not celebrate the student signing for an academic scholarship like we do athletes". In May of that year I hosted our first annual Academic Signing Day. In 1997 I had to find my own student teaching assignment because none were offered in computer science. "Because it has not been done before" is not an excuse I accept. I am a team player. I am a planner. And I am passionate about expanding computer science education to more U.S. schools.

What do you think are the most important issues for K-12 computer science education?
Getting computer science education into more U.S. schools at every grade level is super important. As technology continues to change how we do just about everything we do, it is critical that we excite, motivate and engage all students in using imagination, logic and critical thinking skills to solve all types of problems. To do this we must empower teachers of every subject matter, at every grade level with the tools and strategies to incorporate computational thinking and algorithmic development into their curriculum.

Candidates for International Representative:
DOUG PETERSON


Personal Statement
In Ontario, I have taught every Computer Science and Data Processing course ever offered. This has seen at least three different provincial revisions of the curriculum. I served on the Computer Science Special Interest Group for the Educational Computing Organization of Ontario and helped develop and implement a provincial programming contest for students. As a consultant for my school district, Computer Science was one of my responsibilities and actively provided professional learning activities for these educators. Most recently, I have taught the Computer Science teachable option at the University of Windsor. As such, I believe that I have the background and insights to the promotion of Computer Science with the CSTA.

What experiences and/or interests in K-12 computer science/information technology education qualify you to serve as a leader for the organization?
In addition to the information above, I have been invited to serve as a volunteer for the annual CSTA Conference including having presented a number of times. My passion is to see Computer Science universally available for K-12 students. The CSTA is the only organization that clearly identifies this mission and I think that I would be a good candidate for this.

What previous experience do you have with CSTA?
I have served on the CSTA Conference Committee as a volunteer and am currently the Workshop Chair. In addition, I have given presentations at the annual conference. I was also asked to serve on a discussion committee about a program for teacher candidates aspiring to become teachers of Computer Science.

What leadership skills do you have that would enrich the Board and the organization?
I am an accomplished speaker and professional development leader. I work well with groups and believe in the power of collaboration and consensus. In today's social world, I have an established presence through my blog and other social media.

What do you think are the most important issues for K-12 computer science education?
Universally, the issue of respect for the discipline comes immediately to my mind. In districts where computer science is offered, it's still seen as an option. In districts where it's not even offered, it's seen as non-essential. The discipline needs to be promoted as developing essential skills–problem solving, logic, computational thinking, reasoning–that will last students for a lifetime.

MINA THEOFILATOU

Personal Statement
I am a female electrical & computer engineer with a multi-national background (born in Canada, raised in the USA, completed High School and University in Greece). Having worked as a computer science & technology teacher at all levels, my current position at secondary education schools in Greece best suits my passion for innovative teaching and opening horizons for less-privileged/second-chance learners. When the Greek Ministry of Education introduced a lawbill that downgraded Computer Science Education I launched an awareness campaign across decision-makers and stakeholders in the EU. A position on the CSTA board would help me push the campaign further, as I don't intend to give up before the backward legislation is amended; if this should also happen anywhere else in the world, I would channel my experience for the same cause.

What experiences and/or interests in K-12 computer science/information technology education qualify you to serve as a leader for the organization?
Throughout my years teaching Computer Science I have encouraged students to reach for ambitious goals even if they initially consider these to be beyond their capacities. Having successfully presented computer science and technology projects under my guidance to audiences at established, University-affiliated Institutes in Greece my students have gained confidence in working both on their own and as members of a team. I believe the same set of qualities i.e. high aspirations, self-confidence and teamwork ability serve as leadership tools. It all boils down to a "can-do attitude" driven by a strong set of moral values and social awareness.

What previous experience do you have with CSTA?
My campaign for Computer Science Education in Greece caught the attention of the CSTA Executive Director, who wrote a post on the CSTA blog in August 2013 describing the situation (http://blog.acm.org/archives/csta/2013/08/greece_proposin.html) I have since registered as a member and recently started activity on CSTA (communicating on social media and inviting fellow CS teachers in Greece to participate). Currently I am reading the CSTA International Guide with a view to establishing an affiliate association in Greece.

What leadership skills do you have that would enrich the Board and the organization?
  • Good access to the European Union STEM and digital education network (won first prize at STEM teachers' conference in Brussels, communication with high-ranking education officials e.g. EU Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth)
  • Increased social awareness developed through personal hardships and manifested in frequent bilingual blogging to help remedy acts of injustice in education and society at large (see English-tagged posts at agrypnocoma.blogspot.com)
  • Networked in OER and Open Content Technologies (bilingual Wikimedia editor since 2007, member of Open Education Europa portal with vision paper http://blogs.ec.europa.eu/openeducation2030/files/2013/05/Theofilatou-OE-SE-2030-fin.pdf)
  • Actively interested in applying innovative education trends (i.e. Citizen Science http://blog.wikimedia.org/2013/02/21/education-program-greece/#more-21982)

What do you think are the most important issues for K-12 computer science education?
List of issues in bullet form (items not prioritized):
  • Advocacy for computer literacy to the less-privileged
  • Encouraging girls to become more involved in computer science and STEM activities / career options
  • Safe use of Internet and social media (protecting against cyberbullying, identity theft, fraud etc.)
  • Promotion of Open Educational Resources (OER) in CS teaching.
  • Computer Science classes all throughout K-12 all over the world with emphasis on coding.
  • Communicating the benefits of K-12 Computer Science Education in shaping tomorrow's future
  • Immediate mobilisation of international Computer Science Education community whenever CS education is at risk.

Candidate for School District Representative:
TAMMY PIRMANN (ACCLAIMED)


Personal Statement
I am the K-12 Coordinator for Computer Science and Business in addition to teaching CS at the high school level in southeastern Pennsylvania. I worked with my district to adopt the CSTA K-12 standards several years ago, and subsequently helped bring about a new school board policy to make Computer Science a graduation requirement. Following this, I had the honor of participating in a panel in Washington, DC. It was there that I became aware that the work I'd been doing at the local and state level could be expanded to the national level. I believe that a national organization of committed individuals, all saying the same thing, can be heard at all levels.

What experiences and/or interests in K-12 computer science/information technology education qualify you to serve as a leader for the organization?
I am very interested in advocacy at the highest and lowest levels. Computer Science education is a critical issue in America and we have only started to address it. I enjoyed a career in the computer science/information technology field before becoming a teacher, and I began my advocacy work in my first year of teaching in response to the lack of foresight I found in the K-12 realm. Since then, I have forged relationships with many institutions of higher education, non-profit organizations and businesses to educate the decision makers at the district, state and federal levels.

What previous experience do you have with CSTA?
I have served on the Board for two years as the School District Representative. While in this position, I have chaired the research and membership committees. I was the president of the CSTA-Philly chapter for four years and served on the executive board of the preceding organization. I led the effort to become a chapter of CSTA as soon as CSTA allowed chapters. I have presented at several Computer Science Education conferences and attend about two a year.

What leadership skills do you have that would enrich the Board and the organization?
I have been a business owner, a lead-teacher, the president of a volunteer organization, and a department head; in each of these positions guiding other people to take a desired action has been an important aspect of my success. I lead through relationships, and I do as much work toward the goal as anyone on my team or committee.

What do you think are the most important issues for K-12 computer science education?
Computer Science education is still fragmented. Many organizations and individuals are doing what they can to ensure that students who are interested in Computer Science have an opportunity to learn. However, this means that some communities offer classes in the high school while others only have access to after school or summer enrichment activities. Computer Science education should be part of the core curriculum that is offered in every school district.

Candidate for Teacher Education Representative:
AMAN YADAV (ACCLAIMED)


Personal Statement
I am interested in this position because of my passion for CS education and my experiences as a CS student, teacher educator, and an educational researcher. I am familiar with CS curricula having taken courses on a broad range of CS topics during my Bachelors and Masters in Electrical Engineering. More recently, my work as a computer science teacher educator and researcher at Purdue has involved delivering quality teacher preparation and professional development tools for teachers so that they are well prepared teach. Hence, I would bring a new perspective on how to effectively prepare CS teachers as a result of my background in education and computer science.

What experiences and/or interests in K-12 computer science/information technology education qualify you to serve as a leader for the organization?
I am currently a Principal Investigator on a NSF project to develop an online professional development program to support teachers in computer science classrooms. In addition, I am a Co-PI on another NSF project, CS4EDU, to prepare undergraduate education majors to become CS teachers. As a part of these efforts, I have been involved in delivery of learning modules that focus on how to teach CS. I have also developed and co-taught a CS methods course at Purdue for pre-service teachers as a part of our computer science supplemental licensure, which has been approved by the Indiana Department of Education

What previous experience do you have with CSTA?
I have been involved with the Indiana Hoosier Heartland CSTA through various workshops and meetings, which has given me opportunity to discuss issues surrounding CS education with the CSTA members. More recently, I have been involved in dialogue with CSTA board members regarding the role of assessment in computer science. As a result of this, I will be chairing the CSTA Assessment Task Force to create a framework for computer science assessment. In summary, I have been an active member of the CSTA and used CSTA resources in my own work.

What leadership skills do you have that would enrich the Board and the organization?
As a program convener for the CS supplementary licensure on the Purdue's Teacher Education Council, I have worked with various stakeholders (administrators, faculty, and students) in addressing how CS teaching programs can meet national and state standards. This opportunity provides me with an additional insight into how various teacher education programs meet these standards and what teachers need to become successful teachers. Hence, I would be able to bring a new perspective to the board from an educational research, teacher preparation, and teacher professional development perspective.

What do you think are the most important issues for K-12 computer science education?
An important issue facing K-12 computer science education is how to support teachers in the CS classrooms. Specifically, we need to better understand how to prepare future CS teachers and provide quality professional development for ins-service CS teachers, who are interested in teaching CS. Given that CS education lacks exemplary models of teacher preparation, we need to explore how to deliver both CS content knowledge as well as how to teach CS concepts. Another important issue is the lack of diversity in CS classrooms, which makes it important to examine ways to increase the number of minorities taking computer science classes at the K-12 level.

Candidates for University Representative:
KEN BAUER


Personal Statement
I am a Canadian but have been living in Guadalajara, Mexico and working as a professor in Computing Science since 1995 at my current employer. I had only a single semester as a mathematics teacher in our adjoining high school back in 1995 but have a close relationship with our high school teachers.

What experiences and/or interests in K-12 computer science/information technology education qualify you to serve as a leader for the organization?
I am involved in curriculum development for the equivalent of CS1 and the general curriculum in CS for our institution. I currently am working with colleagues on the high school curriculum in CS.

What previous experience do you have with CSTA?
None, I just joined but in reality should have joined years ago. The posts on Alfred Thompson's blog brought me in contact with CSTA.

What leadership skills do you have that would enrich the Board and the organization?
I have an international experience being a Canadian living in Mexico and speak Spanish fluently as well as my native English. I've participated and lead curriculum development for our degree program on various occasions in my years here at my institution. I have a mix of international and university experience, but I think international would be the best fit for me as a position.

What do you think are the most important issues for K-12 computer science education?
In Mexico as well as worldwide we need more opportunities for professional development of staff at our schools of both the private and public systems. Promotion of CS as a degree choice is also important to me and I believe that having access to CS education in K-12 is key to that, in particular we need to increase partition of girls in CS.

FRED MARTIN

Personal Statement
I am an associate professor in the computer science department at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. My research group develops technologies that enable students to be creative with computing–building robots; using sensors to explore phenomena; creating web visualizations of complex data. I also focus on K-12 computer science education. I am a university faculty representative of the regional CSTA Greater Boston chapter since its formation in 2010. I have hosted a series of three computer science summer professional development workshops for teachers at my university. I am on the leadership team of the Massachusetts Computing Attainment Network, a partnership of organizations collaborating to inspire and educate Massachusetts students in computing. I wish to expand this advocacy work at a national level as CSTA's university faculty representative.

What experiences and/or interests in K-12 computer science/information technology education qualify you to serve as a leader for the organization?
I did my graduate work with Seymour Papert, the father of Logo, and since then my career has focused on bringing innovative computing experiences to teachers and students. In the early 1990s I worked with elementary school teachers to bring prototypes of our "Logo Brick" to their students. These materials became the LEGO Mindstorms product. The last three summers, I've led teacher professional development workshops in computer science, with support from Google's CS4HS program. Most recently, I am working with teachers to bring App Inventor (a blocks-based programming language for creating apps for Android devices) to their students.

What previous experience do you have with CSTA?
With my encouragement, my academic department joined the CSTA as an institutional member in 2009. I have served as a university representative of the Greater Boston CSTA chapter since its formation in October 2010. I worked with the Greater Boston chapter's co-presidents and the national CSTA organization in producing our summer 2012 teacher workshop. I am deeply committed to the CSTA's goal of supporting and promoting the teaching of computer science.

What leadership skills do you have that would enrich the Board and the organization?
As a university faculty member, I engage in many leadership roles. I lead research grants with faculty and staff colleagues, working with teams of students. I serve on and co-chair university committees–sometimes producing quick, results-oriented products, and other times addressing complex, long-term challenges. I consider teaching classes as a leadership role too.

What do you think are the most important issues for K-12 computer science education?
The central challenge in our field is cultural recognition of the beauty and power of computing. People don't understanding computing; they think it's just programming, which they consider as a narrow technical skill. Really, computing should be understood as a liberal art–on par with the language arts and the sciences as foundational knowledge for all. Practically speaking, our challenge is "everything" – we need curricula, assessments, standards adopted at state levels, licensure guidelines, and professional development. And we need consensus. Fortunately, lots of great people are working on all of this. We're making progress both breadth-first and depth-first, which is a winning strategy.






   

CSTA works at many levels to support computing education.

Elementary and Middle school
(problem solving &
computational thinking)

High school
(computing &
computer science)

College/university
(enrollment &
transition)

Industry
(engagement &
preparation)