CSTA and Infosys Foundation USA are proud to announce the winners of the 2022 CSTA/Infosys Foundation USA CS Teaching Excellence Awards. These winners demonstrate their excellent work inspiring students to explore the computer science field; effectively engage students in learning rigorous, standards-aligned, computer science content; and a focus on broadening participation of underrepresented students in computing.

National Winners

Nicholas Bousquet Headshot

Nicholas M. Bousquet
Plainfield High School, Central Village, Connecticut 

Nicholas Bousquet is the Lead Computer Science Teacher at Plainfield High School in Central Village, Connecticut. Nick has been teaching project-based STEM since 1998, computer science since 2010, and data science since 2019. In 2021, Nick founded HourOfData.org to promote accessible data science integration across content areas.
Nick has founded three CSforALL pathways, including one of the first fully accredited CS CTE Pathways in Rhode Island. Then at a Title I district in Connecticut, Nick teamed up with school counselors to grow total CS enrollment fivefold, including a sevenfold increase in female and nonbinary enrollment, and a nearly tenfold increase in BIPOC enrollment. Now at an Alliance district in Connecticut, Nick is teaching five differentiated CS courses, facilitating K-12 CSforALL SCRIPT, leading a Coding Club, and co-advising a GSA Club.
Nick strives to craft authentic, interest-driven, and inquiry-based blended learning activities that prioritize self-expression and personal agency. These immersive projects include: developing mobile apps to meet community needs, digital making with Raspberry Pi, coding pop music with Java, using a Kanban agile framework to analyze DNA, developing Artificial Intelligence algorithms for Mancala Madness Tournaments, and uncovering insights hidden within large datasets, from New York City’s stop-and-frisk policing data to Vermont’s vehicle-wildlife collision data. Nick and his students practice an empathy-centered design methodology that grows their confidence, creativity, and collaboration skills as they celebrate courage, kindness and inclusion.
Nick is incredibly thankful for the vibrant PLCs that have transformed his CSforALL pedagogy to be more engaging, equitable, and inclusive: National Center for Women & Information Technology,  UVA Tapestry Workshops, Mobile CSP, MIT App Inventor, MIT Network of Educators in Science & Technology, Raspberry Pi Foundation, CSPdWeek, CSAwesome, Brown University ICERM, Bootstrap Data Science, CSTA-RI, and CSTA-CT. Nick is inspired by his three adventurous kiddos and incredibly patient wife Kate.

Yolanda Kol Headshot

Yolanda Kol
Los Angeles Unified School District, Los Angeles, California

Yolanda Kol is a high school Computer Science (CS) teacher for the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD). As a K-12 graduate of LAUSD, she is committed to diversifying the field of CS by advancing equity and access to CS education for students who are traditionally underrepresented in the field. In 2016, Yolanda became the sole and founding teacher of CS at her school site. She engages students as active learners with project-based learning, a culturally relevant curriculum, and extended learning activities. She works to build an inclusive environment, acknowledging the whole child, celebrating diversity, and confronting stereotype threats to increase a sense of belonging in CS. Since 2016, the number of students enrolled in CS courses at the school site has increased over fivefold. However, the annual pass rate for the AP Computer Science Principles exam has remained above 95%. In addition to establishing and advising CS-related extracurricular clubs such as Robotics, Technology Student Association, Girls Who Code, and eSports, Yolanda is an AP Readiness Instructor at UCLA Center X, a doctoral student at USC, and a National Board Certified Teacher in Information Systems and Technology, Communications, and the Arts. Yolanda’s work as an educator in her community aligns with her long-standing mission to expand access to and opportunities in CS for the students of Los Angeles.

Adam Lueken Headshot

Adam Lueken
Vernon Hills High School, Vernon Hills, Illinois 

Adam Lueken started teaching CS in 2009. He currently teaches AP CS A, AP CS P, IOS App Development, Data Structures, and a senior thesis project course. He has Increased CS Students enrollment from around 40 to over 275 in his 13 years. I attribute the amazing growth to being a part of a lot of some amazing organizations:
I have been lucky to participate in the AP WE Service program for the past four years, and it's an exciting way for students to make a difference in our community. 
Being the treasurer of the Chicago Suburban Chapter helped me learn about writing Grants. I have won 2 CSTA grants, a retired teachers association grant, and 6 D128 Innovation Grants! I also love my monthly Chisub meetings and the national conferences!
Having worked for Girls Who Code as a summer immersion instructor and winning an Honorable mention Award for NCWIT have helped me so much to provide meaningful ways to get more women in CS!
I have teamed with the Chocolate Chips Association: to teach underrepresented girls in STEAM! I also host a Girls Night of Code every year and I put the organizing of these events on students to be my leaders. Shayna Weinstein I’ll miss you!
Additionally, I help at the Center 4 Information Talent Acceleration: (C4ITA.org): which helps students find CS apprenticeships!
Finally, I love hosting hackathons and showcases: I believe students really shine when they enter these. In the last two years I have had 3 big events with another one planned for this summer (thanks to all the sponsors like Abbott, CDW, Robothink, Screencastify, and at least 50 others. I have had over 400 students in these with over $8000 worth of prizes!

Melanie Haley Olson HeadshotMelanie Haley Olson
Parkside Elementary School, Buffalo, Minnesota 

Melanie Olson has taught for the Buffalo-Hanover-Montrose School District in Minnesota for 17 years, with the last 11 being in the Quest Program which is a
school-within-a-school for gifted and talented students. She has a B.S. in Elementary Education and an M.S. in Special Education from St. Cloud State University. She holds teaching certificates in Technology Education, Gifted Education, and Environmental
Education from Hamline University.
Melanie teaches a multi-age class of grades 2-4. She began integrating computer science(CS) in 2013. Continuously seeking opportunities for her students she has integrated Micro Bits, Spheros, Dash and Dot Robots, LEGO Mindstorm sets, Makey Makey kits and a variety of CS curriculum. Students learn Python language using Firia Labs Jumpstart and CodeBot curriculum. Melanie says, “My ultimate goal is to instill a
passion for CS and give students the tools and resources they need to continue learning beyond the walls of my classroom.”

Melanie provides professional development throughout Minnesota and nationally by presenting at conferences and working with school districts. She serves on the Minnesota Department of Education’s Gifted and Talented Education Committee. She is Vice President of the Minnesota Educators of the Gifted and Talented. She serves as an advisor to the State of Minnesota's Javits project, Universal Plus. This project identifies second-and third-grade students showing increased interest in and positive attitudes toward their learning in general, and CS. The goal of the grant is to identify a greater number of students as gifted, particularly in CS, who are limited English proficient, 2E, or are from a traditionally underrepresented racial/ethnic group.
Melanie has been honored as a TIES Exceptional Teacher for technology integration, a regional WEM Award recipient, a State WEM Award recipient and was featured on the show Hands-On-Science airing on Twin Cities Public Television.

Khamphet Pease HeadshotKhamphet Pease
Wilson Middle School San Diego, California 

Khamphet "Phet" Pease has spent her entire 16 years of teaching at Wilson Middle School in San Diego, CA and has taught numerous grade levels and subjects including mathematics and science. Currently, she teaches STEM elective courses including Intro to Coding, Gateway to Technology: Design & Modeling, Automation & Robotics, and Computer Science for Innovators and Makers.


Phet works tirelessly to increase access to STEM education for underrepresented students including BIPOC, females, and those from lower socioeconomic families. She focuses on project-based learning such as developing apps, games, and products to address authentic community problems. She founded the Wilson Robotics Club in 2012 where her students compete in robotics competitions like Botball and First Lego League (FLL). Her students have won many awards at the local and national levels.


For her advocacy for her students and community, Phet has received multiple recognitions including 2015 San Diego County Teacher of the Year; 2019 National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) Educator Award; 2021 San Diego County Engineering Council's Outstanding K-12 Engineering Educator; and the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST). She is a San Diego Rotary Club 33 STEM Advisory Committee board member and a Chibitronics ambassador. She was featured on the second season of CBS's "Mission Unstoppable with Miranda Cosgrove" in partnership with Infosys Foundation USA.


Phet earned a B.S. in general biology with a minor in psychology from University of California, San Diego; a multiple subject credential with supplemental authorizations in mathematics and science from SDSU; and an M.Ed. in curriculum design and teaching from University of San Diego. She is certified to teach Gifted and Talented Education, has a supplementary authorization in computer concepts and applications, and a Career Technical Education credential in engineering and architecture.


Twitter: @PhetPease

Samuel Puich

Samuel K. Puich
Herriman High School, Herriman, Utah 

Samuel Puich is the lead computer science teacher and department chair at Herriman High School in Herriman, Utah. He has been teaching high school and college for 32 years and has held positions of teacher, professor, dean, and provost. His love for teaching returned him to the high school classroom. Samuel currently is teaching Computer Programming I, Computer Programming II, Concurrent Programming I, Concurrent Programming II, Database Development, AP Computer Science Principles, and AP Computer Science. He is an advisor for FBLA and the advisor for the school’s chapter of Girls Who Code. 
His teaching philosophy focuses on teaching individual students rather than classes. He works hard to get to know students early in a course and strives to earn each student’s respect and trust. This is paramount to his classroom facilitation. As students struggle, he forms individual learning teams with kids who are having similar struggles. Kids feel comfortable in these small groups and begin to overcome weaknesses. Confidence grows and enthusiasm towards computer science flourishes. Many kids enter his classes with trepidation about computer science but leave wanting to take more courses in his pathway. 
Students have the opportunity to learn a wide range of programming languages, software engineering paradigms, and problem-solving techniques. Samuel, a former software engineer in industry, introduces real-world projects to his classes. They develop functional and technical specifications, hold scrums, complete progress reports, and utilize software design techniques during the process of developing an application. The pride of completing a large project is evident on their faces.  
Mr. Puich looks forward to each day of school. He loves to see the “light bulbs” of learning take place. He feels truly blessed to be a computer science teacher and he sincerely hopes that he provides a positive impact on each of his student’s lives.

Agustin Sarmiento HeadshotAgustin Sarmiento
Maywood Center for Enriched Studies, Maywood, California

Agustín Sarmiento is a computer science educator at Maywood Center for Enriched Studies (MaCES 6-12th), part of the Los Angeles Unified School District in CA. His career in education began as a computer tech, while earning his teaching credential at Cal State University, Los Angeles. He taught middle school science for 12 years. He excelled at integrating technology into his teaching, inspiring other educators to do the same. He loved teaching science because of the exploratory nature of the subject, which allowed students to experiment and create. Once at MaCES, he had the opportunity to teach CS; the perfect marriage between science and technology.

Agustín’s educational philosophy focuses on providing students with opportunities and experiences that allow them to find and share their voice. At MaCES, he helped grow the computer science program, establishing a computer science pathway for 7th through 12th grade. It includes introductory all the way up to AP CS courses, and will soon include cloud computing certifications, partnering with the local community college. Outside of the classroom, he also advises the CS Honor Society; a group of students who have been empowered to spread the love of CS to their community through leading workshops and coding camps.

He also runs MaCES’s robotics program. Starting with one team 5 years ago, it now includes more than 50 students competing in VexiQ robotics competitions for middle schools, as well as Seaperch and First Robotics for high schools. His students also host a robotics league for elementary and middle school students, as well as the Southern CA VexiQ Robotics championships, where students from all over southern CA compete at MaCES.

Agustin draws all his energy and motivation from the support of his loving wife and three children, but also through his own experiences as he explains in the following quote, “I was once a computer science student in high school and things didn’t go so well. Now I get to be the teacher I wish I had.”
Devon Headshot

Devon Senneseth
Montgomery High School, San Diego, California 

Devon (she/her) received a bachelors degree in math, a masters degree in education, and began teaching math at a Title 1 school in 2014. During her second year of teaching she sought out CS training and launched her school’s CS program the following year.
The program has flourished and Devon has worked to recruit students from all backgrounds by hosting an annual “CS Expo” for 700+ students. This expo allows all 9th and 10th grade students on campus to engage in activities such as an Ozobot playground, project showcase, unplugged games, and more. This recurring event, along with additional recruitment efforts, is one of the key factors that allowed her classes to receive the AP Female Diversity Award for the past three years. She also works to meet the unique needs of her EL population by immersing herself in various PD cycles, such as “CS for EL”, to adopt and refine strategies that combat obstacles created by CS language demands.

In 2019, she partnered with a neighboring elementary school to create a Coding Club. She recruited students from her own CS classes to take on mentor positions and facilitate weekly coding sessions with 4th, 5th, and 6th graders. As a border community, these schools serve primarily low-income and historically disadvantaged populations but they’ve experienced overwhelming support and interest for CS programs. Devon is passionate about creating strong relationships between local elementary, middle, and high schools to provide sustainable and wquitable access to CS.

Currently, Devon is pursuing an EdD in Education Leadership at UCSD. Her research focuses on Black, Latinx, and female student perceptions towards cooperative learning. Specifically, how teamwork shapes their academic and social emotional development within CS classes. She hopes to continue leveraging student voice to strengthen educator understanding of how to best support these students.

Timothy Swick Headshot Timothy Clifford Swick
Sandlapper Elementary, Columbia, South Carolina 

Dr. Tim Swick is the lead teacher of the Computer Science Immersion School at Sandlapper Elementary in Columbia, South Carolina. He has been teaching elementary school for 22 years. 
In 2014, Tim launched an extra-curricular Elementary School Robotics Club that ignited his passion for integrating computer science instruction into elementary classrooms. From his experiences as a Future Lego League coach, Tim began incorporating computer science activities into his 4th and 5th grade Montessori classroom. Starting with Hour of Code activities and the CS Fundamentals courses provided through code.org, his classroom transformed. By combining his passions for innovative technology and project based learning with computer science instruction, his students began exploring ways to use Scratch to develop interactive stories and games to demonstrate learning across a variety of different social studies and science concepts.
In 2019, Tim became the lead teacher of the newly formed Computer Science Immersion School at Sandlapper Elementary with the mission of bringing CS to ALL students at the school.  Over the past four years, he coordinated the development of a school-wide integrated computer science curriculum that blends the use of robotics, block-based coding, and Minecraft Education with different grade-level content and subject areas. As a result of his work, Sandlapper was recognized by the Magnet Schools of America Association as the 2022 Top New and Emerging Magnet School in America. 
He is a National Board Certified Teacher, and holds a doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of South Carolina with a focus on Educational Technology and Innovative Learning Design. His dissertation studied the impact of Computational Thinking in a school Makerspace. 
In his role, he strives to motivate student participation in CS at an early age. He feels that early engagement in CS is vital for under-represented students to get involved with CS careers.


Cat Tabor HeadshotCatherine Tabor
Canutillo ISD, El Paso, Texas 

Catherine Tabor is a math, science, and computer science teacher in Canutillo ISD in El Paso Texas and works primarily with underrepresented populations in computer science. She, with the support of her campus and district, has successfully acted as a partner for multiple AspireIT camps to encourage young women to explore computer science.  She has implemented a 4-year computer science program at her school and is in the process of adding cybersecurity to the program. Catherine is the president of CSTA Paso del Norte and is a past president of the TA/CS SIG for TCEA. She participated (as team lead) in a Teach to Lead summit with a multidisciplinary team with the goal of expanding computer science programs in her district. 
Catherine is a 2018 NCWIT Greater El Paso Affiliate Educator Award Winner and the 2020 NCWIT National award winner.  She was also the 2021 Paso del Norte CS Teacher of the Year. She is a member of the CSTA Computer Science Honor Society advisory committee and is a teacher leader and facilitator in training for the CSTA CSforEL project.  She is also a Code.org facilitator for AP Computer Science Principles and AP Computer Science A, as well as being a reader for AP computer science A.
As a life-long learner, she is currently working towards her PhD in Computer Science at the University of Texas at El Paso with a focus on how language usage can affect the success of underrepresented populations in CS and has taken on the challenge of participating in the WeTeach_Cyber Collaborative to be able to offer her students a more robust and comprehensive introductory program.

Honorable Mentions 

Tonya Coats Headshot

Tonya Coats
Rustic Lane Elementary,
Jurupa Valley, California

Tonya Coats has been an elementary educator in Southern California for over 20 years. She has a degree in Computer Information Systems and a M.A. in Instructional Technology. She has a strong passion for computer science and maker-based learning.  Her students have participated at numerous educational conferences and student showcases, such as CUE, CITE, and Coolest Projects to show educators and their peers what is possible with computer science. Tonya believes exposing her students to computer science at a young age will enable them the time to build interest and grow how to apply these skills to real-world problems.
Tonya currently instructs a before and after school robotics club and is avid about integrating computer science throughout all school subjects. She is a 2022 micro:bit champion and also recently elected to serve as a IACUE Board Member, a regional affiliate of CUE supporting educators in developing innovation and educational technology.
Taghrid El Meliguy Headshot

Taghrid Elmeligui
McMinnville High School, McMinnville, Oregon

Taghrid Elmeligui is the Computer Science CTE teacher at McMinnville High School. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Computer Sciences from Alexandria University, Egypt, and a Masters in Computer Sciences from the University of North Texas. She has been teaching CS for 8 years, and prior to that taught Mathematics. She built the Computer Sciences Career and Technical Education program at McMinnville High School with a focus on equity and diversity in the classroom. As part of the CS CTE program, she teaches courses such as Exploring Computer Science, Programming in Python, Programming in C++, and college dual-credit classes that give graduates a head start on their college CS classes. She also teaches Computer Science summer camps targeted at female and minority middle school students. Outside schoolwork, she is a past president of the Oregon CSTA chapter, and is also an avid birder and loves to travel.

AnAnnie Kelly Headshotnie Kelly
Jenkintown School District, Jenkintown, Pennsylvania 

Ms. Annie Kelly started her career as an English educator and considers herself a Computer Science transplant, due especially to Dr. Tammy Pirmann, a mentor who saw in her a Computer Scientist. Annie’s CS career has been propelled by giving back that same belief to her students to dispel the impostor syndrome that is rampant in CS spaces today. Jumping headfirst into CS in 2016, Annie joined CSTA Philly and found incredible camaraderie, support, and challenges therein. Annie is also a member of the Rainbow STEM Alliance and oSTEM to be more visible for her students. Since her arrival in her current District, she has increased female participation in CS courses by over 800%, and recently earned the 2021 AP Computer Science Female Diversity Award. She has participated in curriculum development, research, AP readings, school and local initiatives, and various professional development opportunities, and shows no signs of slowing down!

Mark HeadshotMark Nechanicky
Lakeview Elementary School, Albert Lea, Minnesota

Mark Nechanicky teaches 4th graders at Lakeview Elementary School in his rural hometown of Albert Lea, Minnesota. For 18 years he has worked with students to find ways to make connections, be curious, set goals, and discover passions.
A first generation college graduate in physics from Gustavus Adolphus College, Mark earned a Masters in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Michigan. After working in Detroit as an automotive electrical design engineer, Mark returned to the University of Michigan and earned a Masters in Elementary Education.
Five years ago Mark participated in Code Savvy’s Minnesota Codes Educator yearlong program and learned how connecting students with CS experiences can spark interest in not only a CS career pathway, but also a variety of STEM and CTE fields. 
We have so many amazing elementary teachers incorporating CS. The key is to continue to support and encourage all elementary teachers.

Adam Riazi Headshot

Adam S. Riazi
Cabell Midland High School, Huntington, West Virginia 

Adam S. Riazi is a National Board Certified Teacher of Mathematics and Computer Science at Cabell Midland High School in wild, wonderful West Virginia. A Mountaineer Mathematics Master Teacher Noyce Fellow, he believes access to a high-quality STEM education is one of the civil rights issues of our time. Honored as a PAEMST State Finalist and a multi-time NCWIT AIC Educator and AP Computer Science Female Diversity Award Winner, Adam earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Mathematics, Education, and Leadership Studies as a Marshall University Yeager Scholar.
Adam is an unworthy husband and charmed father, an assimilated Appalachian and y’all utterer. A frustrated musician and a disc golfer. A random collector, eyeglass obsessor, evidence seeker and magic bean buyer. A backroad driver and habitual shoegazer, unfortunate optimist and hopeless dilettante. An indiscriminate aficionado, a general enthusiast. And a believer in that which is yet to come.