I was voted the shyest person in middle school and I hated that label. I tried so hard to talk to people and make new friends, but I guess most people still saw me as shy. In 1974, Mr. Gadd, who was my seventh-grade math teacher, changed my life by giving me a computer programming book. By high school, I was writing computer programs and was known as the girl who could code, which released me from the title of being the shy girl. Since then I continued to explore computing–mainly by reading books because there were no computer programming classes for young people back then.
I put computers on the back burner for many years, during which I got married to a loving man, raised three wonderful children, and worked as a K-8 teacher. My house burned down in the devastating Cedar Fire of 2003. Although this tragic event was difficult for my family and me to go through, I gained a new appreciation for life and pondered about my career. I realized that what I really wanted to do was teach computer programming because being able to code gave me self-confidence when I was in middle school. I completed my master’s degree in education technology and got back into the world of coding.
I have since taught computer science courses in middle school, and have taught AP Computer Science Principles courses in high school. Most recently I have been teaching technology courses to college students online. I am a member of the Computer Users Educators group (CUE) and I currently serve on the board of the San Diego Chapter of the Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA).
I am excited to be a team member for the WorldOver International School where I plan to facilitate computer science courses. My goal is to be like Mr. Gadd, and have confidence in my students. Like him, I have hope in my students that they will rise as powerful computer programmers who can change the world for good.