A Port Arthur teacher has been honored for progress made in expanding girls’ access to computer classes.

Shalequa Landry, a computer science teacher at Memorial High School Career and Technical Education, received the College Board Advanced Placement Computer Science Female Diversity Award on Friday “for achieving high female representation in advanced placement computer science principles,” according to a statement from hurry.

Landry and Memorial High School was one of 832 institutions across the country recognized for achieving 50% or more female representation in the Advanced Placement Computing Principles or a percentage of female computing exam takers meeting or exceeding that of the female population of the school.

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“Computing is the source code for our economy and much of our daily life,” said Trevor Packer, director of the College Board’s Advanced Placement Program, in the release. “In the five years since we launched the (Advanced Placement) Computer Science Female Diversity Award, it is heartening to see schools like Memorial and Campus (Career and Technical Education) welcoming so many women into this vital field. .”

Just over 44,800 women took the Principles of Computing exam last year, more than three times the number who took the exam when the program was first offered in 2017. .

“We are thrilled to congratulate our minority computer science students (advanced placement) and their dynamic teacher for taking this giant leap towards gender parity in computer science education,” said Adrienne Lott. , district media and communications specialist, in the statement. “We are honored that our school has achieved this distinction and we look forward to seeing these young women and others pursue and succeed in teaching and careers in computer science.”

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Women make up just 24% of the 5 million people in IT professions, according to the release.

Landry herself is a product of Port Arthur ISD, graduating from Abraham Lincoln High School in 1992.

“It’s a looping moment as an educator giving back to her home community,” Lott said.

The statement said that “providing female students with access to computer science courses is essential to ensuring gender parity in high-paying industry jobs and to driving innovation, creativity and representation.”

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According to a College Board study of Advanced Placement Computing Principles, female students who take the course in high school are more than five times more likely to major in computer science in college, compared to female students with a background and academic preparation. similar who have not taken the course. the lesson.

“Overall, female students remain underrepresented in our high school computer science classes, accounting for only 33% of Computer Science Principles (Advanced Placement) participants and 25% of Computer Science A (Advanced Placement) participants. ),” the statement read. “Currently, 51% of high schools nationwide teach basic computer science. The 1,105 schools receiving this year’s Women’s Diversity in Computer Science Award serve as inspiration and role models for all American high schools.”

olivia.malick@hearst.com

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