News Release 

CSTA announces recipients of first-ever equity fellowship

Ten computer science educators chosen for commitment to equity

Association for Computing Machinery

The Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA) announced the ten participants of the organization's inaugural Equity Fellowship, made possible in partnership with Microsoft Corp. and Pluralsight One.

Computer science leads to the fastest growing and highest paying jobs in the country yet only 45% of our nation's high schools teach computer science and in schools that do, computer science courses still lack girls and underrepresented minority students. Furthermore, students receiving free and reduced lunch and students from rural areas are less likely to attend a school that provides opportunities to learn this critical subject.

CSTA's Equity Fellowship is a selective, year-long program that elevates educators who have demonstrated success in disrupting the disparities impacting females, underrepresented students of color, English language learners, and students with special needs in order to bring their inclusive teaching practices and leadership to educators across the country and around the world at the 2020 CSTA Annual Conference.

The inaugural cohort of fellows will include:

    Shanti Coaston, CS Teacher at Shaw High School (East Cleveland, Ohio)

    Jacqueline Corricelli, CS Teacher at Conard High School (West Hartford, Connecticut)

    Charity Freeman, CS Teacher at Kenwood Academy High School (Chicago, Illinois)

    Abigail Joseph, Middle School Director of Learning, Innovation, & Design at The Harker School (San Jose, California)

    Todd Lash, Research Associate at the University of Illinois (Champaign, Illinois)

    Michelle G. Lee, CS Specialist at San Francisco Unified School District (San Francisco, California)

    Rebecca Luebker, Social Science Chair at Haas Hall Academy (Fayetteville, Arkansas)

    Noelle Mischenko, CTE Teacher at Susitna Valley Jr/Sr High School (Talkeetna, Alaska)

    Shana White, CS Teacher at Sweetwater Middle School (Lawrenceville, Georgia)

    Cindy Wong, Technology and Art Teacher at PS41Q (Bayside, New York)

"As CS educators, we are sharply aware of how the benefits of computer science education have not historically reached all students, and in particular, we know that students of color, girls, and students with disabilities are less likely to have access to inclusive computer science classroom learning experiences," said Dr. Joanna Goode, CSTA Equity Committee Chair. "The equity fellows are national leaders in countering this trend. Each ambassador brings a unique legacy of deepening inclusive practices in their own computer science classrooms and beyond. I am looking forward to hearing about the new ideas, strategies, and equity-based 'wisdom of practice' that emerge as they share their collective learning with the larger CSTA community over the next year."

"When diverse students are engaged in computer science, they bring perspectives that enrich learning in the classroom, which in turn, can drive tremendous value and innovation when they join the technology workforce," said Naria Santa Lucia, Senior Director of Skills and Employability of Microsoft Philanthropies. "That's why the computer science pipeline needs to be inclusive and provide the right support at the right times, both in K12 and beyond, so that all students feel encouraged and welcomed in computer science, no matter their background. And in a school setting, no one knows how to approach this complex issue better than our teachers. We look forward to the learnings that come from this work, so that CS teachers have the tools to give diverse students greater access to technology opportunities."

"Computer science is now a basic literacy and in order to keep pace in our technology-driven world, students need access to a high-quality computer science education. Unfortunately, there is an inequity of opportunity to learn computer science and we need to ensure this foundational skill set isn't only available to a select few," said Lindsey Kneuven, Chief Impact Officer of Pluralsight and Executive Director of Pluralsight One. "Pluralsight One funded the equity fellowship to ensure that leading educators across the nation who are demonstrating courage and innovation in the face of this challenge can refine and share their work to create a ripple effect of change. These ten incredible leaders were selected from a pool of over 100 strong applicants, and we'd like to see this fellowship grow in the years ahead so we can build communities of practice and accelerate change."

This program will provide fellows with leadership development from premier leaders in the field and support for the group to develop ongoing, peer-to-peer professional learning experience focused on addressing issues of equity in the computer science classrooms for CSTA members. For additional information, visit csteachers.org/equity.

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About the Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA)

CSTA's (csteachers.org) mission is to empower, engage and advocate for K-12 computer science teachers worldwide. CSTA is a membership organization that supports and promotes the teaching of computer science and other computing disciplines. The Association for Computing Machinery founded CSTA as part of its commitment to K-12 computer science education.

About Pluralsight One

Pluralsight One is the social enterprise of Pluralsight (NASDAQ: PS), the enterprise technology skills platform. It is the company's commitment to drive significant, lasting social impact by improving equal access to technology skills and investing in catalytic solutions. Pluralsight One Fund is a corporate advised fund at Silicon Valley Community Foundation, a 501(c)(3) public charity registered in the United States, EIN# 20-5205488. For more information about Pluralsight One and the nonprofit product suite, visit http://www.pluralsightone.org.

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