A Bit About Yourself

Through the next year of Professional Learning we’ll be working to develop your local cohort of teachers into a community of practice that will allow you to grow and develop as a teacher with the support of your peers. The first step to building that community is getting to know one another. Tell us all a little bit about yourself:

  • Where and what do you teach?
  • Why are you interested in Computer Science?
  • What do you like to do outside of the classroom?


My name is Melanie Ruiz and I am a Teacher on Assignment in the CTE/Linked Learning department in the Fontana Unified School District. Prior to leaving the classroom I taught grades 2-5. I am now broadening my horizons by learning more about middle and high school.

I am interested in Computer Science because I am passionate about educational technology. I have done the hour of code with my elementary students as well as attended the Code.org PD for elementary teachers.

Outside of the classroom I enjoy spending time with my husband and son doing a variety of things from shopping to cycling, as well as spending time with my 3 dogs.

Melanie Ruiz

I teach math at Fishers High School. I am interested in computer science because I think it connects math with real life applications on a higher level than just a basic math course. Outside of the classroom I coach sports year round and have a wife and 2 year old son at home that I like to spend time with.

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My name is Melinda Batalias and I teach at Monacan High School in Chesterfield County. This upcoming year I teach AP Calculus, Geometry, and AFDA. I am interested in Computer Science because it has the potential to impact every students’ future.
Outside the classroom I like outdoor activities and reading.

My name is Michele Duffala and I teach for Griffith Public Schools. I have taught Microsoft Office and business courses at the middle/high school level and will be moving down to the elementary schools this year. I want to gain knowledge about computer science in hope to bringing it to our schools in the near future.

Happy Summer! My name is Kelsey Havemann and I teach at Tomahawk Creek Middle School in Chesterfield County. I am excited to learn more about coding in Math, even at the Middle School level because I also believe that it is extremely relevant to our society and will be more or less critical to the future success of my students. I am hoping to bring in the ‘real life’ experience and have some interesting fun in the classroom this year! Outside of school, I am extremely busy as a widowed single parent of 13 and 15 year old girls - but I love it!

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My name is Lauren Mays. I teach 7th grade math at Spencer Technology Academy. I have taught 6th-8th grade math for 10 years. This will be my 3rd year teaching 7th grade exclusively.

I am interested in Computer Science because I know the job market has changed tremendously over the years and I know the major hook that gets kids excited about Computer Science is Coding. I am eager to learn more about Computer Science in Algebra and how to best expose my students to a different and exciting experience in my classroom. Preparing students for their future careers now with exposure to Computer Science is very important to me.

Outside of the classroom I enjoy spending time with my husband and two sons Cameron (4 years old) and Caleb (1 month). A hobby of mine is interior decorating and I love to watch professional basketball. I am a die hard Lakers Fan.


My name in Anita Crowder and I am a teacher at the Appomattox Regional Governor’s School for the Arts and Technology (ARGS). I am a former engineer and career switcher. I teach high school mathematics, engineering, and computer science. Outside of the classroom, I am a third year doctoral student in Educational Psychology at VCU, with a research interest in gender, culture, and STEM. I look forward to meeting all of you!

I am Cindy VanGuilder. I teach Algebra 1 and Geometry at Northumberland Middle School, I am interested in incorporating coding in my classroom to increase the students’ interest in learning algebra.


My name is Samea Wynn. I teach Computer Technology and Keyboarding at Stonewall Jackson Middle School in Hanover.

I am interested in Computer Science because we’d like to have an exposure to Computer Science as early as the middle school level. In addition, I’d like to revisit it for general knowledge. Its been awhile since I’ve taught it and used it.

Outside of the classroom, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends along with helping those in need. I enjoy mentoring and motivating kids in general.

Happy Summer!

My name is Kim Bell and I teach 7th grade mathematics at Salem Church Middle School in Chesterfield County. I am a career switcher and spent my 1st career as an Accountant. I consider myself a life long learner and I love bringing new ideas that will help to stimulate my students brains to the classroom, and I know coding will do that! Outside of the classroom, I enjoy being a mother of 2 very busy teenage daughters, and when they allow me time I love the beach, reading and gardening!

I look forward to learning with you all!!!


•Where and what do you teach? Bedford County Public Schools, Bedford Middle School
•Why are you interested in Computer Science? Coding with Math
•What do you like to do outside of the classroom? Read, Play with my kids

Hi, I teach at Matoaca HS. Outside school my time is spent with my family.

Hope this is right place…if not c’est la vie! Randy is my name, teaching is my game, not losing my mind teaching seventh graders is my fame, driving over five hours to get here is my claim. Concerning CS in Math, if it makes me better and the students better prepared for what may arise in the future, let’s see what cha got. For what makes me tick, being a child of the King, a husband and father, and being a difference maker goes a long way, from morning to evening day by day by day. Looking forward to these few days and what good can come from them. See you soon.

Hi everyone! My name is Sabrina Chin, and I am a middle school mathematics teacher at Azuela Elementary in the Chicago Public Schools. I am excited about integrating Computer Science in the classroom because it will not only broaden my students’ horizons in STEM, but it creates a direct connection to real world applications with the mathematics they are learning in the classroom. I believe this will make mathematics more meaningful and fun for many of my tech-savvy students. As for what I enjoy doing outside of my profession, I love to travel the world, sing, appreciate art, and check out new cuisines/ restaurants.

Hi everyone! My name is Gary Thompson and I am a middle school mathematics teacher in the Marysville School District (Marysville, WA). I teach 8th grade mathematics, Algebra 1, and this coming year Exploring Computer Science. I am interested in CS because of my background in CS working for Microsoft in my previous career. I like to play console and PC games outside of the classroom and also engage in soccer. I also have a junior daughter and a 3rd grade daughter that I try to keep up with daily. :smile:

Hope this is a great year integrating CS into Algebra!


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Hi everyone!
I’m sure I met some of you at the NOLA Summit. It was very fun and helpful!

I teach K-8 computers and computer science in Chicago. I started using the Code.org curriculum 3 years ago and that sparked my passion for CS education. I think CS is a necessary skill, one that encourages deeper thinking, critical problem solving, and creativity.

Outside the classroom, I’m mostly taking care of my newborn daughter!

Hi! My name is Kayte Snikeris. I teach seventh grade gifted students math, science, and writing at Walt Disney Magnet School. I am interested in Computer Science because I realize that my students love technology so they will be excited to have even more opportunities to learn and apply technology in the classroom. Outside of the classroom I love to travel, enjoy the beautiful city of Chicago, and spend time with my family.

Hello! My name is Nick Genereux. I am the math department at Touchet High School - I teach everything from 8th grade math through Algebra 2, and also offer College in The High School courses such as Statistics, Pre-Calculus, and anything else that might interest students in our community. I have been interested in computer science and technology since I was young, but always assumed it would be too complicated to teach students in mathematics and computer science at the same time. With the resources available to students (and teachers), technology has never been as pervasive and accessible as it is now, even if the inner workings are not well-understood by most.

I enjoy spending time with my wife and our two young children, playing and listening to music, cooking, swimming and cycling, and occasionally reading playing video games.

My name is Amanda Reinke and I am a middle school teacher at the small, rural school in Juda, WI. We are a K-12 building with one teacher per grade level throughout elementary school. I am one of three middle school teachers and I teach math 6-8 and science 6-7. This will be my second year teaching!

I have always had an interest in computer science, to the point of exploring a teaching career in it when I started college. Unfortunately, it was not an offered major at the university that I attended, which was fine because I chose my university based on their phenomenal teaching program. I do not have any prior knowledge of coding and look forward to learning, not only for myself, but how to implement it into my classroom.

Outside of the classroom I love spending time with my fiance and my pup, Jack. We have taken on the challenge of going camping as much as possible now that we have a little camper, even if it has rained every time we have camped. I also enjoy spending time with my adorable nephews, family, and friends.