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|Chinma Uche Candidate Statement|
The fast changing CS landscape and influx of new members to CSTA demands structures that support teachers locally, nationally and internationally. As someone who has worked closely with teachers for more than ten years, I want to be a voice for the 9-12 CS teacher in this landscape. I will lend my 14-years’ experience as a 9-12 CS teacher, my six-years’ experience as a chapter president supporting Connecticut teachers, my experience as a K-5 Code.org affiliate who trains K-5 teachers, and my Mobile CSP PI experience as one who introduces CS into schools to support the work of CSTA; while being a committed voice for the 9-12 teacher. Furthermore, I want to work towards the provision of appropriate professional development opportunities for teachers so they can support their students well.
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 a CS teacher since 2002, teaching AP CS in C++ and Java. I have hands-on experience with most of the tools for teaching CS in K-12 including Scratch, Snap, App Inventor, Alice, Pencil code and App Lab. As an official CSP pilot instructor for the last four years, I have led several teacher workshops, including presentations at CSTA conferences. Furthermore, as president of the Connecticut chapter of CSTA, I have led advocacy efforts for more access to CS for all K-12 students and for adequate PD provision for teachers.
WHAT PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE DO YOU HAVE WITH CSTA?
I was privileged to be part of the 2008 cohort of CS Advocacy Leadership Team (CSALT) representing Connecticut. The training I received led to Connecticut joining CSTA as a chapter in 2009. I have since then, as president of CTCSTA, worked to promote the vision of CSTA within my state and supported its work through attendance at conferences and leading of workshops, while advocating for K-12 CS. I currently serve as an Ex-Officio member of the CSTA Board and a member of the CSTA 2015 - 2016 Standards Revision Task Force.
WHAT LEADERSHIP SKILLS DO YOU HAVE THAT WOULD ENRICH THE BOARD AND THE ORGANIZATION?
As Connecticut CSTA chapter president, I have worked with many stakeholders in the CS community. I also have experience as a Connecticut Education Association (CEA) building representative, working closely with union leadership in promoting respect for teachers and valuing their time. I will bring to the Board a diverse perspective as a high school classroom teacher, and PD facilitator for 9-12 teachers and K-5 teachers. In addition, I have been privileged to work closely with our higher education colleagues and the general CS education community who provide the resources that are changing our landscape.
WHAT DO YOU THINK ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT ISSUES FOR K-12 COMPUTER SCIENCE EDUCATION?The rapid growth and availability of free online resources mean that students come into CS classes with varying levels of need/experience. Professional development needs to prepare teachers to know where their students are and how to support students at their different levels, to maintain engagement. Additionally, recruiting, maintaining and supporting CS teachers who are committed to supporting all students are important K-12 CS education issues. Hand in hand with this is maintaining communications with school districts, providing research-based resources, all the while encouraging districts to bring CS to all of their students.