For the past four and a half years, I have had the opportunity to serve on the CSTA Board of Directors. I joined the CSTA Board as the School District Representative in July 2019. For seven years, I served as the Computer Science Curriculum Specialist for Plano ISD, Plano, Texas. During this time, I had an opportunity to learn what board work looks like under the leadership of Board Chair Fred Martin and Board Chair-Elect Jen Rosato. The Board as a collective group is made up of many computer science education leaders bringing a diverse set of perspectives. CSTA Board members are classroom teachers, district leaders, state agency leaders, industry partners, university/college professionals, international educators, and others related to the field of computer science. I have had the privilege to join the board with others who have a passion for computer science education and CSTA as an organization.  

At the July 2020 meeting, the CSTA Board elected me to serve as Chair-Elect. Serving alongside CSTA Board Chair Jen Rosato, I learned to collaborate with board members, CSTA staff, chapter leaders, members, and other stakeholders to better lead the work of the board. Taking on the responsibility to lead means working closely with Jake Baskin, our executive director. Our leadership was challenged with shepherding the organization through the COVID-19 pandemic. For two years, our events, meetings, etc., were presented and attended virtually.   

At the July 2021 meeting, I started my two-year journey of leading our CSTA Board. I became CSTA Board’s first gay chair. During my time as Board Chair, I learned the amazing opportunity and responsibility it is to lead such a large association. In this role as the chief elected officer, I have learned so much about CSTA, its members, and computer science education overall. Additionally, the Chair leads the Executive Committee, meets every other week with the executive director and chair-elect or past chair, and serves on the following committees: audit, nominations and elections, and governance. I collaborated with the international committee to better identify how CSTA can be a value in other countries. I have been able to represent CSTA’s Board at IDEA Con, CSEd Con, ECEP, CSTA Annual Conferences, CSTA Volunteer Summit, various CSTA virtual summits, ASAE CEO training, CSTA New England Conference, Texas CSTA Chapters Conference, and many impromptu conversations with others. I was able to kick off CSTA Chapter Leadership Summits, learning and collaborating with my fellow chapter leaders. I served as CSTA Dallas-Fort Worth President from March 2018 – October 2024. I have made a number of new friends, colleagues, and collaboration partners through my travels around the country. Through these experiences, I have learned so much from others. This is such a valuable opportunity to learn from people from diverse backgrounds who bring many perspectives I may not have considered.  

Today, I serve out my last year of board service as the CSTA Board Past-Chair and interim Treasurer with Charity Freeman, CSTA Board Chair.  I passed the gavel to Charity during our July 2023 meeting. Serving in my current capacity allows me to serve as an advisor to Charity and Jake Baskin. This year, I will continue my leadership journey by traveling to Washington D.C., for our Computer Science Education Week event at the White House. In February 2024 and again in July 2024, I will visit Las Vegas for our board meetings and our upcoming annual conference. Through virtual meetings, I will continue to serve on the executive board, finance committee, nominations and elections committee, and the CSTA Standards for CS Teachers reflective teachers working group.

My role with Plano ISD changed in July 2023. I am now the Career and Technical Education Coordinator responsible for PK-12 computer science, engineering, and our FIRST robotics program. I now serve as the past-president of CSTA Dallas-Fort Worth. I continue my work in Texas by serving as a member of the Texas Exploring Computing Education Pathways team.  

I will admit these past five years have been a lot of work and opportunities to celebrate our work. I have developed some great friendships with people around the country. Working closely with others focused on developing opportunities for students of all backgrounds and taking away barriers to entries has been an important part of my journey. If you are interested in serving CSTA through board service, please apply to the Nominations and Elections Committee to be considered for this year’s ballot. I am excited to continue supporting CSTA in any way I can going forward. I don’t take lightly the honor of earning a CSTA lifetime membership. If I can support your journey at the school, district, state, or national level, please feel free to reach out. 

CSTA Board Applications for 2024 are now open. Learn more.

About the Author

 Dan Blier Headshot

A public education teacher for twenty years, Dan Blier spent the last seven years as the computer science curriculum specialist for Plano Independent School District. As of July 2023, he was promoted to the position of career and technical education coordinator in the STEM career cluster, which includes computer science, engineering, and robotics.