Officer Candidates for President:
 
Anna Otto
 
Bio:
Anna Otto is passionate about providing students with computer science opportunities and supporting 21st century teaching and learning. As the Computer Science and Online Learning Coordinator for Adams 12 Five Star Schools, she is responsible for overseeing and facilitating the development of a K-12 computer science pathway and supporting digital literacy and computational thinking integration into core content areas. In 2019, in response to the need for local CS professional learning opportunities, Anna launched Rock CS (Rocky Mountain Computer Science Conference for P-12 Educators) in collaboration with SVVSD. Additionally, Adams 12 was featured in Education Week (2019) and Colorado’s Stories of Promising Practice (2020) for the strides the district has taken toward providing students with equitable access to computer science learning opportunities.
 
Before joining Adams 12 Five Star Schools, Anna was a 4th and 5th grade teacher, research methods instructor, middle school tech and applied tech teacher, and a tech trainer. Anna lives in Longmont, CO where she spends her non-working hours with her husband, chasing their 7 year old twin boys and 9 year old daughter.
 
What Anna hopes to accomplish in the position: 
If elected, I would love to grow membership and participation in our CSTA chapter. I would like to continue to provide our members with powerful learning and collaboration opportunities in their interest areas, as well as in culturally responsive and inclusive teaching practices. There continues to be a significant gender and ethnicity gap both in education and industry that I believe we as educators can take strides to improve through more inclusive pedagogical and recruitment strategies.
 
William (Bill) Heldman
 
Bio:
I came out of a 21-year-long career in Information Technology to begin teaching at Warren Tech (WT), a Career and Technology Education (CTE) high school in the Jeffco Schools school district. I have been teaching here for the last 16 years. I teach Computer Science, Cybersecurity and Machine Learning. In times past I have also taught Game Programming.
 
In my pre-WT days I worked in a variety of different positions: mainframe programmer, PC programmer, Novell Netware administrator, customer support, Windows Server and Exchange Server administrator, consultant, adult educator, and IT Director (with 53 direct reports in a variety of different departments and roles).
 
At WT I teach students how to program computers. Today I teach the Python programming language, but in times past I have taught Java and C++ as well. I also teach the web development languages (HTML, CSS and JavaScript). Additionally I teach networking, TCP/IP, small board computers (SBC) such as Raspberry Pi and the Jetson Nano Development Kit, and ethical hacking. I am strongly focused on industry certifications and I am a CompTIA Authorized Academy Partner.
 
Lately I have been really getting into teaching ethical hacking. I teach students how to use virtualization software to create ethical hacking labs, and how to use the various operating systems we might include in said labs. One huge element is Kali Linux, which is a Debian-based Linux distribution designed specifically for ethical hacking. The things these students learn when they go through the creation of a virtualized ethical hacking lab are enormous, and the knowledge they gain by doing so propels them far forward in earning various cybersecurity certifications such as CompTIA Security+, CySA+, PenTest+, CASP+ and others.
 
I have been an adjunct instructor in the Red Rocks Community College (RRCC) concurrent enrollment (CE) program, offering students the chance to earn college credits at the same time they are earning their high school credits. For example, students who are going through their CompTIA A+ training have an opportunity to earn RRCC credits for CNG 121 and CNG 122.
 
I used to do a lot of technical writing for Sybex Books and technical magazines, but have recently shifted my creative concentration to a channel I created on YouTube called TechTalk Education (see https://bit.ly/374RAUd).
 
My goal has always been in helping people understand computer technology and its uses.
 
What Bill hopes to accomplish in the position:
In terms of helping teachers figure out their roles in computer technology jobs, I think there are several areas of low-hanging fruit upon which I think we should be concentrating:
1) Cybersecurity and Ethical Hacking
2) Technical Certifications (CompTIA, Microsoft, Cisco, et al)
3) The Cloud
4) Machine Learning
5) Containerization (e.g. Docker), and Dev-Ops
 
Having been involved in the past in writing NSA GenCyber proposals, I can fully understand how much teachers want to bring these technologies to their students. But I also understand how difficult it can be for a teacher to embrace these technologies. I'd like to come up with some methodologies that can help teachers go deeper in their craft of teaching computer technologies so that students are helped that much more in learning how these technologies work.
 
Truly, given that computer technology moves at nanosecond speed, teachers have a ton of obstacles in front of them to simply keep up! There have to ways to assist teachers in understanding, accommodating, growing rich in these technologies and more well abled with each passing year to bring deep instruction to students.
 

Officer Candidates for Secretary:

Diane Rhodes

Bio:

I am a career IT professional dedicated to educating future technology innovators. I am a full time faculty at Front Range Community College overseeing CS programs in Westminster. I also teach a CIS course at Metro State University.

What Diane hopes to accomplish in the position:

I want to learn about the opportunities available Colorado chapter. I want to use my skills to grow the mission of CSTA as a whole.

 

Dr. Erika James

Bio:

Self-directed and driven highly qualified educator with a background in standards implementation and revision, curriculum design, primary and secondary education, school and district accountability, public policy, and cross-functional teams to ensure success that achieves goals. Develop and execute comprehensive education plans in multicultural schools. Maximize performance by implementing appropriate standards through analysis of formative and summative student assessments to gain an understanding of student needs to support learning through emerging best practices and effective reteaching. Creative problem-solver who excels at guiding students through complex academic plans by identifying goals and monitoring student outcomes. Expertise includes the development and instruction of high school curriculum for Business, Marketing, Computer Science (Coding), Computer Science (Cybersecurity), and Personal Financial Literacy. The development of the curriculum is used to engage diverse student populations through real-world learning applications.

Accomplishments:

- Ph.D. Business Administration, Dissertation: Project Management Methodologies in the Field of Education

- Project Manager of Colorado Standards Revision, Educator Effectiveness Implementation, School and District Performance Framework Reports, SchoolView Data Center, and School Finance System

- Site Director for Colorado 3A State Tennis Tournament

- Consecutive Coach of the Year Awards

Certifications:

- Principal Licensure

- Business and Marketing Teacher License

- Information Technology Teacher License

- Career and Technical Education License

- Elementary Teacher License

Committees:

- Social Studies Colorado Academic Standards Revision Committee with Colorado Department of Education (CDE)

- Colorado High School Tennis Committee with Colorado High School Activities Association (CHSAA)

- School Accountability Committee

- Business Advisory Board

- Computer Science/Engineering Advisory Board

What Erika hopes to accomplish in the position:

While in office I hope to grow my local Computer Science community with my participation, engagement advocacy, resources, and support from board members and CO CSTA members.

 

Sonia Spindt

Bio:

Sonia is a California native, who earned her degree in Molecular Biology from UC Berkeley. It wasn’t until a friend asked Sonia to attend a Women Who Code event that she discovered the power of computer science. After graduating in 2014, Sonia began working for UCSF in a neuro-oncology lab, where she explored the mitotic origins of glioblastomas. Although her research focused on stem cells, she often relied on the programming skills she acquired in college to analyze the biological data she collected, further highlighting just how pervasive computer science has become in today’s workforce.

Motivated to help further diversify the field of computer science, she joined Teach for America, where she began teaching Web Development and AP Computer Science Principles in East Oakland. Now, she teaches Data Science and Machine Learning courses at the Cherry Creek Innovation Campus in Centennial, CO. Sonia is constantly inspired by her students and is excited to continue to empower her students to explore STEM fields and careers. She loves to travel when she can and believes the best way to experience a new culture is through food!

What Sonia hopes to accomplish in the position:

Many computer science teachers work in isolation; some are the only CS teacher at their school site while others have found themselves lucky enough to land in a small department where all individuals are spread across an entire pathway – in this case, no two teachers think about the same thing. CSTA can not only bring people together but it can help teachers find the collaborative space they need to elevate their practice.

As someone who was a member of one of California’s most active chapters of CSTA, I hope to bring outreach and professional development facilitation experience to CO’s CSTA. In doing so, I hope to increase membership and to provide the structures or routines individuals need to find membership in CSTA exciting and fruitful.

 

Professional Development Opportunities:
 
UCCS is excited to announce GenCyber Summer camps for grade 9-12 Teachers in 2022!
Apply early, only 16 places in each camp!
 
Welcome teachers from across the State of Colorado.
 
ALL participants will receive parking, lunch each day, and a $300 stipend for attending a camp, fully developed cybersecurity curriculum, and a voucher for a cybersecurity industry certification from ECCouncil
 
Each camp will provide pre activities to introduce and orient participants to the content and curriculum being covered in the camp
 
Each camp will provide post camp activities to provide mentorship and support as teachers implement the cybersecurity they learn at camp
 
Those teachers coming from more than 100 miles will receive lodging on campus, mileage, parking, and meals
 
The Introductory camp is going to be held on campus at UCCS June 13-17 8:45 am - 3:45 pm
 
This camp is for any teacher from any discipline
 
The Advanced camp is going to be held on campus at UCCS June 20-24 8:45 am- 3:45 pm
             
This camp is for any teacher with previous cybersecurity or computing teaching experience
 
Teachers will receive an additional stipend of $300 if they sign up to “practice” teach what they learn in this camp at a local student camp before bringing it into their classroom in the fall.
 
See the attached fliers for more details and the application links for each camp.
 
 
Deadline to apply is 31 March 2022.