Celebrating teachers at the heart of our movement

In February, we dedicated our 5 year anniversary to our partners, and everyday, we remain grateful for the passion and effort of those who work so hard to expand computer science and the opportunity it provides. And today, on National Teacher Day, we’d love to celebrate and thank our most essential partners, our teachers!

We can’t say it enough — the movement to expand computer science has been led by teachers. With all of the resources, support, and data we provide to bring computer science into schools, there could be no progress without the dedication of teachers and administrators who believe in what we are doing and who are passionate about extending opportunities to all students.

Today, we celebrate and thank all of the almost one million teachers who have found their way to Code.org, supported us, and advised us. These 4 teachers are incredible examples of individuals who have gone above and beyond the call of duty to help bring computer science to classrooms:

Joel Spencer, who discovered the Hour of Code in 2013, and never turned back. Instead, he went on to train over 1,500 teachers throughout Arkansas and has been a fierce advocate for computer science at the state level. Thanks to him, Arkansas is a national leader in computer science education. “The hardest part of bringing it to school is getting people to change their mindset on computer science. Coding does involve reading; it involves math, it involves science — it’s just another way to teach it!”

Angie Kalthoff, who is a tech integration specialist for School District 742 in Minnesota where she works with elementary schools, but started her career in education teaching English to students new to the US. After seeing what her students were creating, what they were doing, and how tech brought them together and encouraged collaboration, her attention was hooked. “And since then, I haven’t been able to stop digging into new resources. I get to work with teachers on integrating tech with meaning and help empower students to share their voices and creations. I realized I could reach more students by helping teachers learn how they can bring this into their classrooms.”

Daryl Detrick, who has been advocating on behalf of his students — and all students — to pass legislation in New Jersey. He noticed how computer science could change his students’ lives; many of his low-income students took computer science in high school, put themselves through college, and were able to get a high-paying tech job. “I came to understand how all students should have the opportunity to take computer science; it really can change their lives and open up so many doors. I thought the same thing could happen to similar students from across the state and across the country if we could give them the opportunity to study computer science — what if we could give all students the opportunity my students were getting at our school?” He’s been a driving force behind New Jersey’s adoption of making computer science count as a math class, creating standards around computer science education, and most recently, making sure that all high schools in the state offer computer science.

Dianne O’Grady-Cunniff, who saw the gender breakdown in tech and her classes as an issue she could help fix and worked to ensure there could be a more inclusive computer science course in Maryland. “I think that’s the glory of computer science; there are so many different sides to it! And these great new classes where students can see the breadth of everything you can do with computer science and peek into the future.” She’s still working to ensure that Maryland, and the rest of the country, will have basic coverage of computer science so every student can get exposed to these fundamental ideas and create new and amazing things. “They would have laughed at us ten years ago if we said we could do this. But actually somebody can do that, and that’s pretty impressive.”

Our thanks and appreciation go to Joel, Angie, Daryl, and Dianne, who have been with Code.org since the very beginning and who continue to change lives through computer science. And to every incredible teacher who has introduced their students to the opportunity to learn computer science on Code.org.

Thank you to every teacher who continues to go above and beyond for their students day in and day out. We love being a part of your lives.

Hadi Partovi, Code.org

Code.org® is dedicated to expanding access to computer science increasing participation by young women and students from other underrepresented groups.