Meet the 2023-24 CSTA Equity Fellows – Teacher Cohort! 

10 headshots of the 2023-2024 Equity Fellows teachers are on a blue gridded background
  • Leah L. Aiwohi, 6-12 Teacher, at Kauai High School (Lihue, HI) 
  • Matt Alonzo, 6-12 Teacher, at Parkway North High School (Saint Louis, MO)
  • Cynthia Brawner, PreK-8 Teacher, at Wadsworth STEM Elementary (Chicago, IL) 
  • Ebonie A. Campbell, 6-12 Teacher, at Maury High School (Norfolk, VA) 
  • Daa’lyah Suad Cooke, 6-12 Teacher, at Frederick High School (Frederick, MD) 
  • Daniel T. Jones, 6-12 ESE Teacher, at Whispering Pines Educational Center/Broward County Public Schools (Miramar, FL) 
  • Marisa Laks, 6-12 CS Teacher, at High School for Environmental Studies (New York, NY)
  • Lisa Rachel Moe, 6th Grade Teacher, GATE Coordinator (PreK-8, at Philistine Rondo School of Discovery (Eastvale, CA) 
  • Dr. Elvage Girard Murphy, 6-12 Teacher, at Ten Oaks Middle School (Myrtle Beach, SC) 
  • Michelle Pierce, 6-12 Teacher, at Mallard Creek STEM Academy (Charlotte, NC) 
Leah Aiwohi Headshot

Leah L. Aiwohi

Leah Aiwohi has been a public school teacher in Hawaii throughout her 34-year career as an educator. Having taught at the Elementary, Middle and High School levels, Leah has come to realize that educators need to be flexible, attune to trends in student interests, and supportive of all students. She currently teaches media production, computer science and STEM education. Continually striving to keep up with the ever-changing tapestry of education, Leah has been involved in media, CS and STEM at the state and national levels. A CS Leaders Award recipient in 2022-2023 as well as recently joining the first cohort of Amazon Future Engineers Teacher Ambassadors, Leah has also been a PBS All-Star Digital Innovator.

alonzo headshot Matthew Alonzo

Matt Alonzo

Matt Alonzo is a computer science teacher in St. Louis, Missouri, who has been teaching at Parkway North High School since 2003. In 2009, he was tasked with teaching the sole computer science class within the math department. Through this experience, Matt discovered that the computational thinking practices used in computer science education are crucial for all students, yet not all students had access to this class. In an endeavor to eliminate the barriers hindering students from learning computer science, Matt has expanded the CS program to encompass four CS courses, initiated a Computer Science Honors Society, coordinated and executed a computer science mini-conference to provide every student in the school with an opportunity to participate in a CS activity, and has contributed to the growth of CS programs in the district’s other three high schools. Additionally, Matt serves as a facilitator for in their CSA and CSP curriculum.

Cynthia Brawner Headshot

Cynthia Brawner

Cynthia Brawner is a National Board veteran teacher with over 25 years of experience. She teaches all subjects: English Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, Writing, and coding to her third-graders at Wadsworth STEM Elementary in Chicago, Illinois. She runs the after-school Computer Science, Podcasting, Inventors, and Videography clubs for grades 3rd to 8th. Cynthia’s educational mission: empower as many students as possible through academic exposure to help students have a voice and reach their full potential. She’s a PilotLight Food Education Fellow, a Field Museum Ambassador, a DonorsChoose Ambassador, A Scholastic SuperSTEM Advisor, a Museum of Science and Industry Teacher Initiative Partner, and a Global Schools Mentor. She holds several postgraduate degrees: an MA in Early Childhood Advocacy and an MS in School Administration. She also holds several certificates from Adobe Exchange Education, ISTE, and CSTA. She is active in the faith-based community and continues to enjoy teaching.

Ebonie Campbell Headshot

Ebonie A. Campbell

Ebonie Campbell possesses a decade of experience teaching computer science at Maury High School in Norfolk, VA. She is currently engaged in a grant project with CodeVA serving as a Research-Practice Partner with Computer Science (CS) for CTE. The grant’s primarily objective is to advance computer science teachers by providing CS endorsements. This initiative supports high school teachers in Virginia, enabling them to acquire computer science endorsements, impart more advanced skills and concepts, and develop a strong sense of self-efficacy and identity as CS educators. Furthermore, the grant specifically targets teachers who are presently instructing introductory-level CS in schools with large populations of underserved students, including those from low income, rural, and students of color. Ebonie aims to boost participation in computer science courses and foster interest in the field among underrepresented minorities and women. Ebonie holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science and a master’s degree in education. She loves spending quality time with her husband and her twin sixteen-year-old daughters. She and her family reside in Virginia Beach, VA.

Daaiyah Cooke Headshot

Daa’lyah Suad Cooke

Daa’iyah Cooke started her teaching career in 2017 at Woodlawn High School as a Technology Education teacher. In 2021, she was offered the opportunity to work close to home at Frederick High School where she teaches Computer Science (AP Computer Science Principles, Foundations of Computer Science and Advanced Computing Concepts – a cybersecurity class). This will be her 11th year in education and 7th year teaching. Daa’iyah is passionate about inspiring students, instilling confidence and helping them find their love of computer science. She has a Bachelors in Information Systems with a Business Administration minor from University of MD Global Campus (UMGC) and a Masters in Management of Information Technology from Hood College. Daa’iyah strives to bring computer science to all students and mentors the Robotics Club, Computer Science Honor Society and maintains her technology education roots by volunteering as the Vice President for Technology and Engineering Educators of Maryland (TEEAM).

 Dan Jones Headshot

Daniel T. Jones

Dan Jones is in his third year of teaching computer science and sixth year of teaching special needs students at Whispering Pines Educational Center in Miramar, Florida. He takes great pride in connecting the world of computer science to his student’s everyday lives. He is a graduate from Florida International University with a master’s degree in higher education administration. He is also a doctoral candidate in K-12 organizational leadership. Dan’s true passion is his love of education and his desire to elevate his students to the next level of their educational journeys. He is committed to creating a career pathway program for his students and helping them find out what their passion for the future is. He brings a diverse technical background to classroom having spent 22 years as a Cadillac and ASE certified master technician. He is relentless in his pursuit of learning and teaching computer science and is currently working on completing the requirements for a STEM teaching fellowship at Florida Atlantic University. He is a 2023 CSTA Teaching Excellence regional award winner. He is the robotics and Esports coach at his school and hosts gaming tournaments for his students when they are not competing against other schools. He recently won a gaming lab, seven Alienware Gaming Computers through High School Esports League (HSEL) and is having a blast teaching AP computer science this year. He believes that everyone can learn computer science.

Marisa Laks Headshot

Marisa Laks

Marisa Laks, is a computer science teacher, programmer, and Girls Who Code club facilitator at the High School for Environmental Studies in New York City. She has been teaching for 19 years overall, with 4 years of computer science experience. In June 2022, she received an Advanced Certificate in Computer Science Education from CUNY Hunter College. This past summer, Marisa facilitated training for CS teachers participating in NYCDOE CS4All professional development. She received an Equity Grant for a data science unit on voter suppression and presented at the Ready For Revolution conference in 2022. Marisa has visited Guatemala 4 times to work with teachers through the organization Mathkind. Based on her experiences there, she has developed a project where students learn about and write code to recreate the patterns of Guatemalan textiles. She is passionate about CS and believes all students should have access to quality CS education.

Lisa Moe Headshot

Lisa Rachel Moe

Lisa Moe teaches 6th Grade in Corona-Norco Unified School District and is known on Social Media as @MissMoeTeaches. She was named the 2020 Edwin Carr recipient in Educational Technology through California State University, Fullerton and the 2021 IACUE Blended and Online Educator of the Year. In 2022, she was featured on CBS Mission: Unstoppable as a leading female in STEM. She currently serves on the Inland Area CUE board and hopes to continue to make a positive and significant impact in the world of STEAM, CS, and Educational Technology.

Elvage Murphy Headshot

Dr. Elvage Girard Murphy

After retiring from the practice of law, and a full professorship at a university, Elvage Murphy accepted the challenge of teaching middle school students with the hope of helping children prepare to make a successful transition into adulthood. He accepted the responsibility of teaching website design and computer programming, with limited familiarity in the field. His commitment to make this successful career transition speaks to and inspires his students to believe they can learn and excel in computer science.

Michelle Shomo Pierce Headshot

Michelle Pierce

Michelle is in her 5th year of teaching Middle School Computer Science at Mallard Creek STEM Academy in Charlotte, NC, where she was named the 2022-2023 Middle School Teacher of the Year. She also teaches Digital Citizenship lessons to all of the K-8 students at the school. Michelle previously taught elementary school for 3 years. In addition to teaching, she also serves as a Girls Who Code facilitator, Team Lead, and mentor. In 2023, Michelle received the CS Teaching Excellence Award. In 2021, she was recognized as an Amazon Future Engineer Teacher of the Year and is currently serving as an Amazon Future Engineer Teacher Ambassador. Michelle is passionate about exposing students from underrepresented populations to all of the opportunities that Computer Science has to offer. She is supported in her endeavors by her husband, Michael, and her two children.