Are you new to teaching computer science, the only computer science teacher in your building (or district), or just wish you had some people to go to when you have questions about computer science teaching and learning? Luckily, Indiana has some AMAZING, experienced computer science educators that are here to help! Below you will find a list of accomplished Indiana CS teachers who are happy to connect with you! These CS Champs are from various parts of the state and serve a variety of grade-levels. Check it out! Feel free to reach out to any of them if you would like to ask questions or seek advice.
Julie Alano - Hamilton Southeastern High School
Computer Science Teacher
Mrs. Julie Alano began teaching at Hamilton Southeastern (HSE) High School in Fishers, Indiana in 1998. She has seen many changes in the school and community, including in her classrooms and courses. She has taught Algebra II and other math courses but now focuses on computer science. She teaches AP Computer Science A, AP Computer Science Principles, and Computer Science I and has also taught Intro to Computer Science. This year she added courses in Cybersecurity and App Development. Mrs. Alano started the CybeRoyals student-led tech squad at the school and sponsors the computer club. As founder and president of the Hoosier Heartland Chapter of the Computer Science Teachers Association, she works to promote and support K-12 computer science education across the state. In 2015-2016, she worked as a writer for the national Framework for K-12 Computer Science Education. She has also served on standards writing committees at the state level in Indiana. Julie became a code.org Computer Science Principles Facilitator in the fall of 2016, the first year the course was offered as AP. Mrs. Alano was named Teacher of the Year for HSE High School and HSE Schools (a district of over 21,000 students) in May 2016. In April of 2017, she was named State Tech Educator of the Year by the TechPoint Foundation in Indiana. Julie is also the head girls track coach at HSE High School and is currently president of the Indiana Association of Track and Cross Country Coaches, after serving 11 years as secretary, and 2 years as vice president. In her spare time, she helps at her family’s farm and orchard near Shelbyville, Indiana and can be found selling fresh produce at a local farmers’ market on Saturdays.
Ryan Bean - Sense Charter School
K-8 Computer Science Teacher
Ryan Bean teaches technology and computer science at Sense Charter School and works as the school IT guy, Google admin, and technology coordinator. He graduated in 2013 from Indiana University and worked for several years in special education, RTI, Kindergarten, and 2nd, 4th, and 5th grades. Ryan has always had a passion for technology and openly labels himself as a mega nerd, so he decided his rightful place was in technology education. He then moved on to teaching technology in Carmel before being hired at Sense Charter School. Ryan teaches a large range of topics including Google Apps, computer science, and digital citizenship, and utilizes productivity tools, Code.org, Lego EV3, VEX, Clever, and many other systems to coordinate the school's technology and effectively teach CS.
Dana Calfee - Greensburg Jr. High School
Science and Computer Science Teacher
Dana Calfee has always been very curious and creative. Her 8th grade science project on the adhesive characteristics of clear tape along with her experiences at Indiana University in Bloomington prepared her well for teaching science the last 14 years. In the last 2 years, Dana has become an advocate for integrating Computer Science in the science curriculum in order to improve engagement and literacy in both subject areas. She is a code.org Computer Science Discoveries facilitator and has a leadership role in the Hoosier Heartland Chapter of CSTA. As a co-creator of the STEMConnects Lab, Dana brings real world applications of physical computing, coding, computational and design thinking to life for 6th-8th graders as she continues to "Think Opportunity" at Greensburg Community Jr. High School. As an educational presenter, Dana loves to promote the importance of UDL and mindfulness in designing learning experiences and work spaces for kids. As a UDL practitioner and PBIS coach for her school, she is driven to help others scaffold best practices that grow and emotionally support expert learners. Outside of school, Dana teaches drama classes for children through the Columbus Parks & Rec program and tries to spend as much time as possible in her kayak on the tri-state waterways. Teaching is a life love inspired by her own children, Rebecca, Jonah, and Lucy and her dad, Larry - a former junior high teacher and coach- who inspires her daily to continue finding ways to remove obstacles for kids to experience the transformative power of computer science and science literacy in their own lives.
Patty Cushing - Hammond Area Career Center
Computer Science Teacher
Patty Cushing is a certified Computer Science teacher at the Area Career Center University in Hammond, Indiana and an Adjunct Faculty member at Loyola University Chicago. She holds a B.S. in Psychology and an M.Ed. in Educational Technology, both from Loyola University Chicago. Early in her professional career Patty spent 20+ years working in the Corporate sector where she focused on teaching and training within the digital space. After realizing that Education is the primary means of changing lives and society for the better, she made a mid-career change to Education, where she now focuses on Computer Science and educating tomorrow’s leaders. Patty has a particular interest in assisting underserved populations, especially youth. She has spent much of her career advocating for underrepresented groups and working to increase the number of students – particularly women and ethnic minorities – in Computer Science. In addition to the CS courses she teaches, Patty facilitates one of the few Girls Who Code clubs in her school district.
Kristen Haubold - Riley High School
Computer Science Teacher
Kristen Haubold has taught Computer Science for 4 years at Riley High School. She has taught AP Computer Science Principles, AP Computer Science A, and Cybersecurity. Kristen is a proud alumnus of Indiana University Bloomington. She currently resides in South Bend Indiana, where she also works as the Director of Curriculum and Instruction at South Bend Code School.
Brandy Hicks - Milan Community Schools
Computer Science Teacher
In her professional journey, Brandy has served the educational community as an elementary, middle, and high school teacher in urban and rural school districts. She had the opportunity to begin her teaching career with third graders at Jesse Sherwood Elementary School on Chicago’s south side. Working with these children presented her with many different kinds of challenges that allowed her to grow as an educator. Brandy is very grateful for having had that experience. It allowed her to appreciate all the opportunities that one has in this country to achieve, no matter where one comes from or one's income status. Education is the equalizer that allows every person to reach their full potential. This ideal, which became her mission in the classroom from those early experiences, has been her beacon with every class she has taught since those first years. After leaving Chicago, Brandy moved to Indianapolis and found a teaching position with MSD of Pike Township at Guion Creek Elementary as a fifth grade teacher. Currently, she is a technology coach and technology teacher at a rural school in Milan, Indiana. While at Milan Community School Corporation, she has taught math and computer science classes in both middle and high school. She is an educational presenter, and has led her district in the roll-out of Google Apps for Education and Chromebooks. She has a Bachelor of Science in Education, Masters of Technology in the Classroom, and a Computer Education License.
Genevieve Petty - Cold Spring School
Computer Science Teacher
Genevieve McLeish-Petty began teaching for Indianapolis Public Schools in 2000. She spent many years teaching secondary ELA courses of all kinds and levels. During that time, she was a Teacher of the Year, District Top Ten Teacher and Hubbard Finalist. Her real joys at the high school were in her Digital Editing and Mass Media classes and the stage. Her love of technology lead her to her Master’s Degree and eventually to a large shift in educational focus. In 2018, she changed her license and went to teach at Cold Spring Elementary (an IPS Innovation School) where she is the Computer Science teacher for K-6. Cold Spring is an Indiana STEM Certified School. Genevieve also serves as the building’s Technology Director and spends a large part of her energy working with teachers on STEM and tech integration. Genevieve and her husband of 25 years (also a teacher at Cold Spring) coach the Cold Spring World Qualifying VEX Robotic Teams and facilitate their Junior Robotics Teams and Program (Wonder Workshop/Dash). She is comfortable with and uses a wide variety of technology apps and resources. Genevieve is PLTW Trained in Launch and Gateway App Creators. She is currently becoming an Indiana Ford NGL Project Based Learning Trainer.
Justin Rentschler - DeKalb Central Schools
Innovation Coach and District Computer Science Coordinator
Justin is an Innovation Coach for DeKalb County Central United School District in Waterloo, IN. Through this role, he helps lead the district in the implementation of innovative teaching and learning practices through the use of technology and research-based instructional strategies at the elementary and secondary levels. Justin also is the District Computer Science Coordinator where he serves to align computer science practices, resources, and standards K-12. He graduated from Indiana University Fort Wayne with a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education and a Masters of Science in Educational Leadership. Previously, Justin spent his time teaching a wide variety of subjects at DeKalb Middle School including computer science, digital communications, math, writing, and a project-based learning science and technology course. He also started the student-led tech team, Baron Tech, and a robotics club at the middle school.
Phil Sands - Purdue University
Phil serves as the K-12 Outreach Coordinator for the Department of Computer Science at Purdue University. In this role, he works with teachers to help improve their practice, students in order to engage them with computing ideas, and community members to help them understand the important role computer science will play in our rapidly changing world. In addition, Phil is a doctoral student in Educational Psychology and Educational Technology at Michigan State University. His research focuses on the impact of self-regulation in the computer science classroom, issues relating to teacher pedagogical knowledge in computer science, and the use of online learning environments to broaden participation in computing. Previously, Phil worked as a K-12 statistics and computer science teacher in Michigan and Maryland, and also as a software engineer.
Maria Sellers - South Vermillion Middle School
Computer Science Teacher
Maria Sellers began teaching at South Vermillion Community Schools in Clinton, Indiana in 2003. She started her career as an elementary music teacher and continued in this role for 11 years. She then served as an eLearning Specialist, a high school digital student leadership teacher, and building technology assistant for four years. Her role changed once again in 2017, as she began teaching GAIN (Going Above Instructional Needs) as a required course for all students at South Vermillion Middle School. Her course exposes students to computer science, digital citizenship, STEM, business, and college and career prep. She still serves as a building technology assistant but now uses the role to mentor a Girls Who Code club and Wildcats Tech Crew club. Maria currently serves as a Computer Science Fundamentals Facilitator for Code.org in partnership with Nextech in Indiana. She also presents at numerous EDTech, edCAMP, and eLearning conferences in multiple states. Maria has a Bachelor of Music in Music Performance and a Master of Music in Education from Indiana State University. Currently, she is licensed in Music Education (All Areas K-12) and Computer Science Education (K-12).
Kerry Sensenbrenner - Thompkins Middle School
6th Grade Teacher
Kerry is a certified life science and computer science teacher at Thompkins Middle School in Evansville, IN. She currently teaches 6th Grade Science and has helped her district integrate Computer Science into the middle school curriculum maps. Kerry received her B.S. (2006) in Secondary Math/Science Teaching from The Florida State University. In addition to teaching, Kerry is a Nextech facilitator of the Code.org course - Computer Science Discoveries, a member of the 2019-20 Teach Plus Indiana Policy Fellowship, and was selected by the U.S. Department of Education as a Computer Science subject matter grant reviewer in the Education Innovation and Research Program. This summer Kerry attended Picademy in Mountain View, California, and is excited to bring more physical computing opportunities into her classroom. Kerry is married and has a daughter and a son.
Justin Smith - Pike High School
Computer Science Teacher
Justin is a Computer Science teacher at Pike High School in Indianapolis. He serves on his district’s Technology Integration Committee. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Finance from Ball State University and his Master of Arts in Teaching from the University of Indianapolis. Justin worked in hotel and retail management after receiving his Bachelor's degree and made the jump to education after realizing that helping and training people were his favorite parts of management. Justin currently teaches Computer Science I, Computer Science II, and Computer Science III: Cybersecurity.
Katy Sparks - Monroe County Community School Corporation
Elementary STEM and Computer Science Coach
Katy Sparks is the STEM and Computer Science Coach for the Monroe County Community Schools Corporation in Bloomington, Indiana. She works with teachers at 14 elementary schools to integrate STEM and computer science standards into the school day. Before starting this position, Katy taught third grade for eight years, including seven years at Grandview Elementary School, a STEM certified school. She is also a member of the Indiana STEM Council and STEM Cadre.