CSTA and Code.org Announce the 2017 Champions for Computer Science

3 min readNov 28, 2017

In celebration of the 2017 Computer Science Education Week (CSEdWeek), the Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA) and Code.org are pleased to announce the inaugural Champions for Computer Science. From developing a wristband and app to help parents monitor their young children, to serving as a hub to expand computer science to rural communities statewide, these winners represent the students, teachers, schools, districts, and organizations on the forefront of the national computer science education movement.

One winning entry where over the last 3 years, students have created a total of 8 prosthetic hands and arms. They are currently developing a myoelectric arm for a local girl.

Selected from a pool of nearly 1,000 nominees, the winners will be presented with their awards at a special 2017 CSEdWeek kickoff event on December 4th featuring Peggy Johnson of Microsoft, Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook, and Susan Wojcicki of YouTube. Deborah Seehorn, Interim Executive Director of the CSTA says, “We are ecstatic to have such a tremendous response to the call for nominations. The selection committee had a difficult time choosing the winners from so many exemplary entries. These are people who are truly broadening participation in CS, advocating for CS, innovating, and making an impact in their community.”

“It is an honor to recognize the work these champions are doing in their local communities and to celebrate the achievements of the thousands like them around the country as part of this year’s CSEdWeek,” says Pat Yongpradit, Chief Academic Officer for Code.org. “We are all inspired by these champions.”

Follow along on Twitter and Facebook as we highlight each of these winners throughout CS Education Week.

In the Student category, the winners are:

  • Vidhi Srivastava from Redlands High School (Redlands, CA)
  • Crystal Reynaga and Angela Johana Garcia Pena from Florence Nightingale Middle School (Los Angeles, CA)
  • Shreya Shekhar from BASIS Independent Silicon Valley (San Jose, CA)
  • John Mason Branum from Katherine Hankins Middle School (Theodore, AL)

In the Teacher category, the winners are:

  • Diane Neville from Gulfstream Academy of Hallandale Beach (Hallandale Beach, FL)
  • Lawrence Ramos from Emerson Community Charter Middle School (Los Angeles, CA)
  • Heather Sutkowski from CREC Montessori Magnet School (Hartford, CT)
  • Efrain Lopez from J. W. Nixon High School (Laredo, TX)

In the Schools category, the winners are:

  • Eufaula High School (Eufaula, AL) — Math and Computer Science Teacher Alicia “Lee” Calton will accept the award
  • Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences and the Arts (Hot Springs, AR). Director Corey Alderdice will accept the award
  • Brenham High School (Brenham, TX) — Math and Computer Science Teacher Trenton Hall will accept the award
  • Anacapa Middle School (Ventura, CA) — Math and STEAM Teacher Kristie Steinlicht will accept the award

In the District category, the winner is:

  • San Francisco Unified School District (San Francisco, CA) — Computer Science Coordinator Bryan Twarek will accept the award

In the Organization category, the winners are:

  • South Bend Code School (South Bend, IN) — Co-Founder Alexandra Liggins will accept the award
  • Queen City Robotics Alliance (Charlotte, NC) — Executive Director Lia Schwinghammer will accept the award

About CSTA

CSTA, the Computer Science Teachers Association (www.csteachers.org), is a membership organization that supports and promotes the teaching of computer science and other computing disciplines at the K-12/pre university level. The Association for Computing Machinery founded CSTA as part of its commitment to K-12/pre university computer science education. CSTA provides opportunities for K–12 teachers and students to better understand the computing disciplines and to more successfully prepare themselves to teach and learn.




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