Meet the 2023-24 CSTA Equity Fellows – Teacher Cohort!
- 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 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 Code.org 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.
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 code.org in their CSA and CSP curriculum.
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 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.
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).
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.
Since 2008, Kathleen Mazurek’s design work has focused on how technology exploration bridges multi-modal communication. Baltimore-based, she holds a dual certification in art/special education and a Masters in Leadership in Teaching. Her current role as a special education art teacher at the William S. Baer School has allowed her room to explore adapted computer science as an expressive medium. She has developed and facilitated curricula, workshops, and PD through the MSDE, Baltimore City Public Schools, Baltimore Museum of Art, 21st Century Schools, Enoch Pratt Public Library, Kennedy Krieger Institute, and Digital Harbor Foundation. Her work has been featured in the New York Times, Slate, Bmore Art, and Technical.ly Baltimore. After her team’s first app, createAchimera, won the 2015 Baltimore Hackathon, she examines how tech nurtures metacognition with her grant-funded workshop Decode Me Space. Through the CSTA Equity fellowship, she wants to grow as an instructional designer to build gamified assessments and learning platforms to highlight latent skills for learners with special needs.
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.
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 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.