|Stacey Kizer Candidate Statement|
I am a strong candidate because I am innovative, dedicated to learning, and am passionate about continually improving the practice of teaching CS. Throughout my 7 years of teaching high school CS I have been dedicated to integrating new perspectives, developing rigorous (and fun!) learning strategies, and to finding opportunities to connect with industry in my classroom. I would bring enthusiasm, creativity, and interpersonal skills as well as analytical and statistical experience as a researcher to the position that I believe would be an asset. On the local level,
I already advocate for CS programs, for improving professional development, for creating opportunity to build community among CS teachers, and for developing innovative curriculum and would welcome the opportunity to have a similar impact on the national level.
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 7 years of experience as a high school IT / CS teacher. I am enthusiastic about promoting CS within the schools where I teach and endeavor to make the programs interesting, relevant and visible. I’m also passionate about ensuring that underrepresented groups are welcome in my courses and finding ways to motivate these students to consider a future IT career. Further, I am active and involved with the technology community in the Nashville area so that I can be sure that my Programming & Logic curriculum matches what those organizations are looking for in future employees.
WHAT PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE DO YOU HAVE WITH CSTA?
I am a member of CSTA and also served as a reviewer for the 2016 conference proposals. I will also be presenting two sessions at the conference. I am eager to become more involved with CSTA and hope to do that as the 9-12 representative.
WHAT LEADERSHIP SKILLS DO YOU HAVE THAT WOULD ENRICH THE BOARD AND THE ORGANIZATION?
I possess strong relationship-building skills that I believe would be an asset to the Board and to CSTA. I am self-confident and have good communication skills – both of which contribute to my ability to be decisive, ask good questions, and build teams. Further, I’m skilled at being responsive and not reactive, often drawing upon strong analytical and reasoning skills to diffuse a stressful situation. I’m also positive and outgoing, which makes me approachable. Additionally, I have a talent for being able to take large projects and break them down into measurable steps with specific goals and outcomes.
WHAT DO YOU THINK ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT ISSUES FOR K-12 COMPUTER SCIENCE EDUCATION?Three important issues in K-12 CS education are: (1) preparing CS teachers, (2) teaching a rigorous set of in-demand skills, and (3) attracting underrepresented groups to CS courses. Understanding how CS teachers learn their content and also how they learn to teach it is an interest of mine, as well as the topic of my current dissertation research. Additionally, I think it’s important that students learn programming using industry-standard IDEs and also gain employability skills important in IT careers. Lastly, I consider motivating underrepresented students to enroll in CS courses and developing strategies to keep their interest to be vital.