Welcome to the CSTA Volunteer Spotlight series, where we celebrate the incredible individuals who dedicate their time and passion to making a difference in the CSTA community. Join us in recognizing and appreciating the extraordinary efforts of Michele in their role as K-5 Subcommittee Member, Conference Committee.  

What inspired you to volunteer your time with CSTA? How has this experience impacted you?

I attended my first CSTA conference in 2022 in Chicago. I was so excited to finally meet teachers who were teaching what I was teaching, and to be able to make connections and share ideas. CS is often a very isolating subject area, especially in the elementary schools. I wanted to ensure that all future elementary attendees had the same amazing experience that I had!

How long have you been involved with CSTA, and what motivated you to join?

I applied for and received an honorable mention for the CS Teaching Excellence Awards for 2021-2022. This was my first experience with CSTA, and I quickly became very interested in joining and continuing to grow and learn with this great community of CS teachers.

Can you share any memorable experiences or highlights from your involvement with CSTA?

My first experience with CSTA was attending the Chicago conference. It was beyond my expectations. It’s very hard to isolate one memorable experience during the conference as the whole event greatly impacted my future in CS education. Every single person I met and every session I attended made an impact on how I viewed CS instruction with my elementary students.

How has CSTA impacted your teaching career and professional development?

As stated previously, my elementary CS instruction has greatly been impacted my the numerous resources, ideas, and supports I received when attending the CSTA conference and by continuing to volunteer with CSTA. I’m constantly learning about new ideas, resources and activities to incorporate into my current CS instruction.

In what ways do you see CSTA shaping the future of computer science education?

Computer science is evolving quicker than any other area of education today. It’s necessary to be able to work with CS colleagues and for CSTA to keep up with changes and to provide quality instruction to our students.

Are there any specific initiatives or projects within CSTA that you’ve been particularly passionate about?

As this is my first year participating on the Elementary Subcommittee for the 2024 CSTA Conference in Las Vegas, I am looking to seeing what the impact my role and participation will play in the conference. I worked for many hours with this subcommittee to ensure the conference will benefit all CS teachers and specifically elementary teachers. I’m excited to experience all we’ve accomplished when I attend the conference this summer!

What does the future of CSTA look like?

Oh, I can only imagine! I’m hoping to continue to be able to volunteer with CSTA working on providing elementary teachers support and resources for their students. It’s an exciting time for us as many states are beginning to see the value in providing foundational CS instruction to our youngest learners!