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Board of Directors Election Bios 2019
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K-8 Representative Nominees

Alana Robinson
Special Education K-8 Technology & Computer Science Teacher | P811M The Mickey Mantle School/New York City Department of Education | Brooklyn, New York

I believe access to computer science education for all students is required in this 21st Century digital economy. As a special education K through 8th computer science educator, I have seen the tremendous growth and development in my students’ problem-solving skills, confidence, computational thinking, grit and persistence with the exposure to computer science. I want to be part of a cohort of CS educator leaders who will give access and opportunity to all students so they will be skilled and inspired to be the next generation of innovators and problem solvers. We should be infusing ethics of computing and impacts of computing in all K-12 classes in order to develop empathic digital students. As an educator of fourteen years in the special education sphere, access, equity, ethics, and diversity should be core values in CS education and for CS education leaders.

What experiences and/or interests in K-12 CS education qualify you to serve as a leader of CSTA?

I am an educator with 14 years experience and have taught all content areas in special education and held various leadership roles from Curriculum and Behavior Coach to new teacher mentor and CS PD. I am also a New York City Department of Education CSforAll Blueprint Teacher Fellow, an academic and implementation guide for teaching CS in NYC public schools. These roles allow a greater perspective of how CS can be taught as an interdisciplinary or standalone subject. I teach K-8 special education Computer Science to students in the NYCDOE Special Education District. As the special education CS Teacher, I developed, implemented, taught and continually modified the K-8 CS Curriculum.


What previous experience do you have with CSTA?

Currently, I am a CSTA + Member. Since I began teaching my students with disabilities computer science several years ago, I have used the CSTA CS K-12 Standards and resources. There is a great resource that I use often and recommend to many of my teacher colleagues. It allows you to search and filter

out by CS standards, sub-concepts, and practices from the CSTA CS K-12. As an NYC Department of Education CS Blueprint Fellow, we used the CSTA standards to develop a framework for teaching computer science in New York City.


What leadership skills do you have that would enrich the Board and the organization?

I had various leadership positions in my teaching career. Now as a special education computer science teacher, I created, developed and implemented the K-8th CS program at my school. Working with the NYCDOE CSforAll team, I am part of the CS Professional Development Lead where I am building CS capacity in my school and I support and co-host monthly #ethicalCS Twitter chats, an NYCDO initiative where CS educators and industry talk about ethics in CS. Starting as a special education teacher, then school-based behavioral coach where I led professional development workshops. As coordinator, I supervised staff, developed, facilitated professional development workshops, mentored new teachers.


What do you think are the most important issues for K-12 computer science education? 

 Some of the most important issues for K-12 computer science education are accessibility, ethics, equity and diversity. These issues all play a role in supporting student achievement. Similar to the training of doctors where there is a hippocratic oath of “do no harm” we need to nurture and develop empathic CS students. CS education needs to include teaching CS ethics and developing students’ analytical skills of computing technology. I also think to prepare our students for a future with accelerated technological advancements every CS curriculum should include A.I.-Machine Learning and its impact on society, the workforce and jobs as well as a category on emerging technologies.

Vicky Sedgwick
K–8 Technology Teacher | St. Martin’s Episcopal School | Canoga Park, California

Computer science education is vital in today’s world. As more states adopt standards for computer science in K-12, I am hopeful that computer science will be taught to all students, but there is more work to be done to ensure that this happens. When I decided that I wanted my students to learn computer science, finding CSTA and the CSTA K-12 Standards were the keys to developing a program at my school and in building a support network for me. It is important that all teachers of computer science feel supported in their efforts to bring computer science to their students. I believe that CSTA is the organization that can help teachers to build support systems for themselves, locally, through chapters, and online. Through my involvement with CSTA, I have helped to build online communities for K-8 teachers through bi-monthly #CSK8 Twitter chats and the CSTAK8 Facebook Group. I look forward to helping to strengthen these communities and finding other ways to support K-8 CS teachers.

What experiences and/or interests in K-12 CS education qualify you to serve as a leader of CSTA?

As a former computer programmer and systems analyst, when I began my job as a technology teacher, I wanted my students to learn more than just keyboarding and productivity software. I began using the 2011 CSTA standards to design curriculum for my middle school students in 2012 and since 2015 all of my K-8 students participate in computer science lessons for one-quarter to one-half of the school year. I have been advocating for computer science education since 2013 by presenting on CS topics at technology events and conferences. I have helped moderate the #CSK8 Twitter chat since January 2015.


What previous experience do you have with CSTA?

I am currently one of the K-8 representatives on the CSTA Board. I served on both the 2016 and 2017 CSTA Standards Revision Task Forces as a member of the K-5 writing team. I have served on the CSTA Conference Committee for the past three years and am currently the K-5 Strand Lead. I have helped to moderate the bi-monthly #CSK8 Twitter chats since 2015. I helped to found and am a moderator for the CSTAK8 Facebook Group. I have served as a member of the CSTA Curriculum Committee working on curriculum crosswalks. I have written articles for the CSTA Voice and the CSTA Advocate Blog. Locally, I am a member of the CSTA California-Inland Empire Chapter.


What leadership skills do you have that would enrich the Board and the organization?

I am passionate about computer science education, especially in K-8, and promote and advocate for it whenever I can: at my school, at technology events/conferences, and daily on Twitter (@visionsbyvicky) where I strive to support CS teachers. I enjoy analyzing complex problems in order to identify and implement solutions in collaboration with others. I have a strong work ethic and can be counted on to devote the time and energy necessary to get things done.


What do you think are the most important issues for K-12 computer science education?

To me, the biggest issues in K-12 CS education today are equity and access. CS for all really should mean all. It is important that every student has the opportunity to learn computer science and that is not happening yet. I believe that one of the reasons for this is that there are not enough teachers available to teach computer science. I feel this is especially important in elementary schools where the classroom teacher may be expected to teach all subjects. There needs to be a way for these teachers to learn computer science, how to teach it, and how it can be integrated into the school day. Only when teachers feel competent and supported can computer science reach all students.


9-12 Representative Nominees

Doug Bergman
Computer Science Department Chair, High School CS Teacher | Porter-Gaud School | Charleston, South Carolina

The last two years have been an incredible journey as part of the leadership team of CSTA. With 20+ years of experience teaching CS, I have a firm grasp of what engaging CS looks like, what CS teachers need, where the challenges lie, and where the opportunities are. As CS becomes a part of the curriculum in more schools across the country, we have the opportunity to distinguish ourselves from other disciplines. Every day, we use technologies which are engaging, dynamic, and interactive -- we have to make sure our CS classroom reflect that same spirit. By developing classes which are hands-on, creative, interactive, project-based, and relevant, we can attract a wider variety of students, especially students who have not yet thought about CS as something they might be interested in. Students across all industries and interests should explore how CS can help them address the problems in the areas they have a passion for. We need just as many students minoring in CS as we need majoring in CS.

What experiences and/or interests in K-12 CS education qualify you to serve as a leader of CSTA?

I have 23 years of experience in leading CS departments. I developed an award-winning, four-year high school project-based CS curriculum for high school. I also helped implement CS in every grade in middle 5-8 and K-4 elementary school. I authored a book about creative and innovative computer science K-12. I led a presentation of part of the ChangeMaker series worldwide broadcast (about increasing diversity and inclusion in CS classrooms). I presented at numerous regional, national and international conferences. I was the MicrosoftEDU TweetMost host promoting Computer Science and the Hour of Code. I was involved in the creation of the CS Honor Society. This experience may help as CSTA goes down that same road in the near future.


What previous experience do you have with CSTA?

I am a current board member, 9-12 representative. I have volunteered for numerous responsibilities and committees. I have attended numerous annual conferences, presented twice at the CSTA conference (California and Texas), and published two articles in CSTA Voice. I helped form the charter for the original SC CSTA chapter and served as its first president.


What leadership skills do you have that would enrich the Board and the organization?

I am the current 9-12 representative board member for CSTA. I have served as the head of computer science departments for 23 years. I have experience in developing project-based curriculum. I’ve presented at workshops and conferences regionally, nationally and internationally. I served on several SAIS accreditation teams in charge of visiting and evaluating schools. I’m the author of “Computer Science K-12: Imaging the Possibilities. I was recently recognized as a finalist for the South Carolina Presidential Award for Excellent in Mathematics and Science Teaching. I am the Chairman of MSON Think Tank in charge of designing the Computational Thinking and Computer Science program for a consortium of 25 schools. I’m extremely active in numerous social media venues for the promotion of CS. My blog, based on innovative computer science teaching, gets about 300+ hits per day. I’ve worked with the Innovative Expert Educator program with Microsoft for the last eight years.


What do you think are the most important issues for K-12 computer science education?
I think an important issue is finding strategies to bring more teachers K-12 into CS education to meet growing demand. As our CS Ed community grows, it will be important that we address the needs of intermediate and experienced teachers as well as those new to the field. There needs to be the development of a centralized CS (education job posting) and job listing portal for teachers and schools. There needs to be an expansion in the role of, and visibility of, local CSTA chapters. How we teach CS needs to be reshaped in order to reach a wider variety of students, including leading conversations about what technologies should be a part of the computer science classroom and being involved in efforts to increase inclusions and diversity.

Art Lopez
District Curriculum Specialist (TOSA) Computer Science, Computer Science Teacher | Sweetwater High School | Chula Vista, California

My name is Art Lopez, and I currently work as the district curriculum specialist for Computer Science for the Sweetwater Union High School District and teach AP CSP at Sweetwater High School. I am also credentialed as a bilingual educator in the state of California. I feel that I am both a strong and uniquely qualified candidate for the position. For the past eight years, I have been engaged and networking within the computer science education space and movement at national, regional, and local levels. I have and continue to be an advocate/champion for equity access and the broadening of participation of underrepresented groups in computer science: women, ethnically diverse students, English Language Learners and students of Learning Differences. I have been involved, worked and collaborated with several organizations, communities, and individuals across the nation, regionally and locally, on computer science education policies and initiatives, curriculum and instruction, and PD.

What experiences and/or interests in K-12 CS education qualify you to serve as a leader of CSTA?

I was selected by both the Obama Administration and the NSF as one of the top 100 computer science educators in the country. I was selected to be a member of the first meeting of the Computer Science For All educational initiative and continue to work with this group. I have spoken and presented at numerous conferences and symposiums on the importance of computer science education for our children, equity access and the broadening of participation of underrepresented groups in Computer Science. I was appointed as a committee member by the California Department of Education to assist in writing the first ever adopted California Computer Science Standards for grades K-12.


What previous experience do you have with CSTA?

I am currently the president of the Computer Science Teachers Association, San Diego Chapter, coordinating and providing CS educators professional development/networking opportunities, access to free curriculum/instructional materials, and connections with higher education and industry partners interested in computer science education. I have also been able to work with our CSTA board and our university partners in the “re-boot” of our chapter. The previous two years before I became president, only one meeting was held. For the past year, we have had four general meetings with an attendance of between 50 to 80 computer science educators from K-12 and higher education and industry members.


What leadership skills do you have that would enrich the Board and the organization?

As evidenced by the accomplishments and experiences that I have outlined in my answers and resume, I feel that I have great communication, problem-solving, motivational, relationship building, networking and awareness skills. I am able to bring people from many diverse backgrounds together, united in achieving common goals. I have become a national/regional/local leader and advocate in the computer science education space, sought by many different organizations, communities, and individuals to collaborate with on computer science education policies and initiatives, demonstrating qualities of honesty and integrity with many of these same groups.


What do you think are the most important issues for K-12 computer science education?

One of the most important issues for K-12 CS education is equity access and the broadening of participation of underrepresented and underserved groups in computer science: women, ethnically diverse students, English Language Learners and students of Learning Differences; but, this also includes equity access for ALL children in grades K-12. Also, the building of relationships and developing partnerships between K-12, higher education, industry, and government agencies to work together and collaborate to provide sound educational computer science education policies and initiatives and engaging, rigorous and ALL-inclusive curriculum and best educational practices for learning computer science.


School District Representative Nominees

Dan Blier
Computer Science Curriculum Specialist | Plano ISD | Dallas, Texas

I would like to see our organization continue to build targeted K-12 Computer Science professional development. Our organization must continue to be the voice that advocates for funding at the national level. Given our current climate that puts coding news, we must work with our regional organizations to influence the implementation of new partnerships that benefit our members and their students. I believe my skills and experience will bring new ideas and passion to our organization.

What experiences and/or interests in K-12 CS education qualify you to serve as a leader of CSTA?

As a CS/IT educator with over a decade of teaching experience in this field, I have seen this field evolve with new technologies. For the past five years, I have served as a district leader in Career and Technical Education and Computer Science supporting teachers in developing their teaching skills to engage students while exploring content and pedagogical research. In these roles, I have brought my ability to plan and see the big picture. My experience with the planning and development of new programs, instructional research, and relationship building qualifies me for this position with CSTA.

What previous experience do you have with CSTA?
For the past three years, I have been a member of CSTA and DFW CSTA. I currently serve as DFW CSTA president. I served as a reviewer of sessions and have submitted to present for the 2018 conference. I am currently serving on the 2019 Chapter Leadership Summit Committee.

What leadership skills do you have that would enrich the Board and the organization?

I have served on several educational organization boards during the past fifteen years in education. I have had the honor of serving on boards at the local, state, and national organization. My leadership skills include developing ideas through implementation and developing the decision making process through listening and engagement of members.  


What do you think are the most important issues for K-12 computer science education?

K-12 computer science education has limited research on secondary instruction. As an organization, we must focus and influence funding to develop research that teachers of computer science can implement in their classrooms. We must continue to develop opportunities for members’ professional development, too.

Bryan Twarek
Computer Science Supervisor | San Francisco Unified School District | San Francisco, California

I have had the privilege of serving on the CSTA Board of Directors for the last two years. I’m proud of the organization’s growth during this time, and I would be honored to continue my position. I am well qualified given my unique experience across many levels of the educational system, from classroom teacher and site leader, to district, state, and national leader.

I have the privilege of directing the expansion of computer science education in San Francisco’s public schools, where we are working to teach all students from pre-K to twelfth grade. My success across an entire school system makes me a strong candidate and has prepared me to support an even broader group of CS educators.

With a growing number of CS teachers, the CSTA has a great opportunity to act as their primary community and voice. I want to help the CSTA capitalize on this opportunity and provide meaningful professional development and connections for CS educators across the world, particularly those new to CS.

What experiences and/or interests in K-12 CS education qualify you to serve as a leader of CSTA?

I manage PK-12 computer science education for the San Francisco public schools, where I support the expansion of rigorous, relevant, and engaging CS instruction to all students. To this end, I oversee policy, curriculum development, and teacher training/support.


Additionally, I served as a lead writer for the K-12 CS Framework, co-chaired development of California’s CS standards, contributed to California’s CS strategic implementation plan, and advised ISTE’s computational thinking competencies. I am PI for an NSF CSforAll project and advisor to several CS research and curriculum development projects. I also train CS teachers of all levels, and I have taught CS at the middle school level.


What previous experience do you have with CSTA?

I am proud to currently serve as the CSTA Board of Directors School District Representative and on several committees. I am a team lead for the CSTA K-12 Computer Science Standards Revision Task Force, and I was a writer for the 2016 interim and 2017 standards, and am on the writing team for the revised CSTA & ISTE standards for CS educators.


I have presented and volunteered at CSTA conferences for the last several years, and I have represented CSTA at events both nationally and internationally. Additionally, I am a proud member of the Golden Gate chapter of the CSTA. I am excited and honored to continue my deep involvement with the CSTA.


What leadership skills do you have that would enrich the Board and the organization?

I am a hard worker who thrives with large, nebulous projects. I have experience creating compelling change in a complex system, as evidenced by my success in dramatically expanding CS within SFUSD.

I know how to balance an ambitious vision with making realistic and steadfast progress. My deep experience in training and working with teachers and leaders helps me stay grounded in the complex realities of school systems.

I am also efficient, detailed-oriented, and an effective collaborator. I work with others to find or develop creative solutions and utilize our collective resources to accomplish goals.


I believe I could help the CSTA achieve laudable goals and have a great time. 😁


What do you think are the most important issues for K-12 computer science education?

Expanding CS to all students is paramount to disrupting the current inequities in access and achievement. However, access alone is not enough; it is also essential that this instruction is creative, relevant, and high quality.


The CSTA can help facilitate this by:

· directing and coordinating effective PD for teachers of all backgrounds and abilities,

· communicating relevant research and inclusive teaching practices,

· curating strong curricula and instructional resources aligned to standards,

· highlighting effective models for CS expansion,

· sharing advocacy resources to help convince stakeholders and policymakers, and

· fostering community and resource sharing among CS teachers.


At-Large Representative Nominees

Lien Diaz
Director, Ed Innovation and Leadership | Constellations Center for Equity in Computing | Atlanta, Georgia

I’m an advocate for equity & I’m a CS and STEM ed crusader. My work is motivated by challenging the status quo to change perspectives of CS ed & make transparent the issues that must be addressed to obtain equity in computing. I believe that equity must be at the heart of all efforts to overcome socioeconomic barriers & issues of race, gender & identity that persist in CS ed. I strive to ensure that underrepresented groups (women, people of color, disabled) have their voices heard especially in matters of inclusion & equity. As a former teacher, I believe in raising the significance of the teaching profession. Together, we must lift the importance of CS teachers if we are to improve on CS ed in our nation. And we must work to diversify CS teachers so that students of color can envision the possibilities in CS with teachers they can relate to. I advocate for differentiated PD to meet the needs of teachers & equip them to help ensure higher levels of engagement & success in CS classrooms.

What experiences and/or interests in K-12 CS education qualify you to serve as a leader of CSTA?

My main interest is expanding access to quality CS while supporting teachers developmentally for sustainability. I have experiences in managing national committees and advisory boards made up of authorities in teaching, learning and subject matter experts in CS ed and various tech companies. Knowing the nuances of convening leaders and conducting meaningful discussions on equity in computing is key to making a lasting impact in CS education. My current role provides opportunities to advance efforts on diversity & inclusion and deepen the impacts to obtain equity in computing. At the core of my profession is the joy of connecting with amazing teachers who truly care about the future of their students.


What previous experience do you have with CSTA?

I’ve collaborated closely with former Executive Directors and other board members on projects and have attended and presented at board meetings. Previously at College Board, I worked closely with them to ensure support for CSTA teachers and was responsible for safeguarding a continuing sponsorship for the CSTA for many years. I’ve also coordinated with CSTA leadership to organize the attendance of a large national cohort of high school teachers to attend the CSTA conferences in 2015-2017. I have presented in numerous sessions at the CSTA conference for nearly 10 years and look forward to continuing to do so in my new role, especially to increase and diversify participation in CSTA.


What leadership skills do you have that would enrich the Board and the organization?

I have a long track record of working with teachers which is a passion that lives very close to my heart and guides my work. I’m able to relate with them & I want them to know that they inspire me every day with their passion & commitment to making a difference for our youth. I have experience with making high-stakes decisions and I’ve shared my pledge to improve on CS education in our nation together with the CS community for over a decade now. I hold unique perspectives on equity, diversity and inclusion & these are steadfast in better understanding the factors that will help diversify the discipline and empower it to become a pillar in American education for all our students and teachers.


What do you think are the most important issues for K-12 computer science education?

Fresh perspectives on equity, diversity and inclusion can help expand discussions on broadening participation in CS. This includes a concerted commitment to diversify the CSTA community & leadership; creating welcoming messages & meaningful recruitment efforts for teachers of all races & ethnicity to enter into the community; and setting a cutting edge agenda for the CSTA to fully support, inspire & empower teachers. Also, PD efforts must meet the needs of our teachers. Successful PD is incremental & sustained over a long period of time. PD must be differentiated in various forms to support new & experienced teachers who are all aiming to improve on engagement & success in their classrooms.

Michelle Friend
Assistant Professor | University of Nebraska at Omaha | Omaha, Nebraska

One of the greatest accomplishments of my life is helping create CSTA, and I am a passionate supporter of the organization. The CSTA conference in July reminded me of the energy the organization can inspire, and moved me to re-engage and help once again; I had stepped away from leadership to pursue a Ph.D. in computer science education. Now with a new perspective as a CS teacher educator and researcher in addition to my prior experience as a classroom teacher, I want to help CSTA meet the needs of teachers and support exemplary computer science education for ALL students.

What experiences and/or interests in K-12 CS education qualify you to serve as a leader of CSTA?

I taught middle school CS from 2000-2010. As a CSTA board member, I had the opportunity to meet teachers and understand K-12 computer science education across the US and the world. My Ph.D. is in computer science education from the education perspective, focusing on students and learning. I now teach a CS teaching methods course and continue to research computer science education. I have a historical understanding of CSTA as an organization. I understand the role of a non-profit board and the challenges of supporting members with a diversity of needs, managing the budget, and providing great services.


What previous experience do you have with CSTA?

I was a founding member of the original steering committee which became the first board. I served on the board of CSTA from 2004-2012 and was the second board president. I have also participated locally, first in the Silicon Valley chapter where I served as the chapter president for two years, and now as a member in the Omaha Metro chapter. I have volunteered at and reviewed for the CSTA conference, written for the Voice Newsletter and Advocate Blog, and volunteered on several committees over the years. I gave a keynote and presented sessions at the 2018 CSTA conference.


What leadership skills do you have that would enrich the Board and the organization?

In my prior CSTA leadership experience, I worked to build consensus and to ensure that the needs of teachers were foremost in goal-setting. I am committed to inclusion and equity, ensuring that all voices are welcomed and heard. I have experience with school administration and non-profit leadership including budgeting, delegation, communication, and visioning.


What do you think are the most important issues for K-12 computer science education?

Equity is a major issue – high-quality computer science education is not equally available to all students because of lack of access, lack of trained teachers, and lack of encouragement for some students. We need to work at a macro-level to ensure all schools have CS taught by a trained teacher and at a micro-level to ensure all students receive a high-quality CS education based on their needs and experience. Research needs to support understanding of high-quality CS education – how and what to teach.  


© 2005-2017

The Association for Computing Machinery founded CSTA as part of its commitment to K-12 computer science education