Posted: Tue, 10/09/2018 - 09:01
As part of the CSforAll Summit celebration (watch it on livestream on October 9), CS for All Teachers is elated to announce the expansion of our second cohort of community ambassadors from six to ten teacher leaders who will lead engagement activities within the virtual community of practice. These individuals were selected through a blind review process from an incredibly talented group of 60+ teacher leaders.
Pamela Amaya serves as the magnet coordinator and computer science (CS) teacher at Helen Bernstein High School in Los Angeles, California. Pamela first began using CS concepts in her classroom after participating in the “Hour of Code” in 2013. Since that time, she has taught Exploring Computer Science (ECS), AP Computer Science Principles (CSP), generative art and design, and new media, in addition to integrating CS content into her Algebra classes. As a lifelong learner, she believes that the more enthusiasm a teacher exhibits, the more it will help to engage students in learning.
Brenda Burmeister is a middle school teacher at the Design and Technology Academy at Ed White, a public magnet school in San Antonio, Texas. She weaves her love of art into her digital communications classes, utilizing project-based learning to help her students address real world issues. From teaching Python to flowcharts, Brenda “sneaks” CS concepts into the curriculum so her students are more likely to choose CS courses in the future.
Nancy McGowan is an instructional math coach at Shades Mountain Elementary in Hoover, Alabama. She has taught CS concepts to elementary and middle school students, beginning with HTML to design web pages and now using coding to run a mini-drone. Through her role as a math coach, Nancy sees CS as a real world opportunity to apply mathematical problem-solving and logical reasoning. She has previously served as the group facilitator for CS in Elementary in the CS for All Teachers community.
Bobby Oommen is a middle school teacher at the Latin School of Chicago in Illinois. In addition to teaching a CS course for fifth and eighth graders, he integrates CS across all grade levels through cross-curricular projects. Bobby earned his B.S. in information systems from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, but has not let his learning stop there. He has taken numerous online courses and been trained as a Code.org facilitator. Bobby regularly uses his YouTube channel to share tutorials.
Neil Plotnick is a high school teacher at Everett High School in Everett, Massachusetts. He has taught ECS and CSP and integrates CS concepts in courses that he co-teaches. This year, he launched a dedicated robotics class as well. Before he began teaching, Neil used to work as an IT systems manager and technology writer. In 2015, he won the prestigious Presidential Award for Excellence for Math and Science Teaching. He has been a blogger for CS for All Teachers.
Nicole Reitz-Larsen is a high school teacher at West High School in Salt Lake City, Utah. She has years of experience in teaching ECS and CSP as well as a seventh grade mini-course in a career/technical education rotation. Nicole has served as a facilitator for ECS and Code.org. She spends a lot of time advocating for her students, and providing opportunities for them to connect with industry partners in the world around them. This is Nicole’s second year as a community ambassador.
Donald Saint-Germain is a high school teacher at WINGS Academy in the Bronx, New York. Though he is new to teaching CS, he has gained experience from incorporating introductory units into other content areas and teaching CSP. In addition to attending professional development workshops, he has connected with various CS communities and educators (in-person and online) that have helped him to grow as a CS teacher. Donald is serving as a community ambassador for the second year.
Linda Sweeting is a teacher on special assignment serving as an instructional technology mentor for Escambia County Schools in Pensacola, Florida. Prior to this role, she was a classroom teacher for 25 years, with six years as a CS teacher. She recently collaborated with an administrator to create a gamified PD course for teachers, utilizing her skills with Open Learning, Goose Chase, and Google Apps to assist in her work. Linda is a fan of Twitter chats and online book clubs.
Jennifer Vermillion serves in a variety of roles as the director of innovative learning at St. Catherine's School in Richmond, Virginia. She teaches high school CS classes, an introductory CS semester course for all eighth grade students, and a summer design and engineering class for elementary students. Jennifer also coaches an elementary robotics team. She is always reading about and piloting new ways to engage learners and promote computer science and STEM learning.
Ashley Waring is the district technology integration specialist for Trussville City Schools in Alabama, supporting teachers in incorporating technology and CS to enhance students’ learning. She helped develop the 2018 Alabama Digital Literacy and CS Course of Study (COS) and constructed a digital resource platform to assist educators in implementing it. She is a Code.org facilitator and works with A+ College Ready to advocate for CS education. This is Ashley’s second year as a community ambassador.
Please help us to welcome these ten teacher leaders and thank them in advance for their service to the community.