2024 CYBER.ORG Educator Award Winners Announced

2024 CYBER.ORG Educator Award Winners Announced

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The winners of the 2024 CYBER.ORG Educator Awards will be celebrated at EdCon 24 in Orlando, Florida, from June 15-17.

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As we count down to CYBER.ORG’s EdCon 2024, we’re thrilled to announce the winners of the 2024 CYBER.ORG Educator Awards, who will be celebrated at EdCon 24 in Orlando, Florida on June 15-17. 

 

These remarkable educators lead by example and demonstrate an unwavering commitment guaranteeing every K-12 student is cyber literate and preparing the next-generation cybersecurity workforce for industry careers. Each finalist will also present an interactive class at EdCon 2024.

WYSIWYG

Let’s meet the winners of the 2024 Educator Awards:

Beth

Elizabeth (Beth) Cerrone, 6-12th Grade Cybersecurity Instructor  
Beth Cerrone is a Cybersecurity Instructor for 6-12th grade at the Innovation Center of St. Vrain Valley Schools in Longmont, Colorado where she teaches cybersecurity and information and communications technology. Beth is a recipient of the 2023 Presidential Cybersecurity Education Award, an annual recognition presented by the U.S. Secretary of Education to outstanding educators in cybersecurity. This award underscores Beth’s dedication to teaching cybersecurity and her exceptional work to increase cybersecurity awareness among her students.

As part of Beth’s cybersecurity curriculum, she leads an Intro to Cybersecurity class devoted to the foundational aspects of cybersecurity and cybersecurity careers. Interest in Beth’s cybersecurity classes has grown tremendously over the years. Four years ago, Beth taught an Intro to Cybersecurity class to 22 students. In 2024, she now teaches over four Intro to Cybersecurity classes to over 220 students. Beth also encourages industry professional participation in her classes and aims to have a diverse range of speakers present in her classroom each month.

Beth takes pride in her teaching approach, which involves introducing topics and then immersing students in virtual environments to explore them in depth. She utilizes gamified tools like Capture the Flag (CTF) challenges to enhance learning and she finds inspiration in witnessing students engage with and understand the underlying processes behind cybersecurity concepts.

ReginaldReginald Ferguson, 9-12th Grade Computer Connectivity Instructor  
Reginald Ferguson is a 9-12th grade Computer Connectivity Instructor with over 10 years of experience at Clyde C. Miller Career Academy for St. Louis Public Schools in St. Louis, Missouri. For the past four years, Reginald has infused cybersecurity competitions and industry-recognized certifications into his school’s pathway curriculum while growing its IT & Cybersecurity Academy, which is entering its eighth year.

Reginald recently established Cyber STL Day, a new annual event created in collaboration with Microsoft Technology, St. Louis Public Schools, Gateway GIS, CYBER.ORG and other partners to bring students together in an innovative technology environment.

Reginald is proud of his impact on students who have shown immense progress in their understanding of cybersecurity through the cybersecurity pathway, which has increased the number of students passing multiple industry-recognized certifications.  

KatieKatie Cunningham, 9-12th Grade Information Technology & Networking Instructor  
Katie Cunningham is a 9-12th grade Information Technology & Networking Instructor at Blackstone Valley Regional Vocational Technical High School in Upton, Massachusetts. Katie has applied her curriculum development and implementation expertise in the classroom for over a decade. To help increase cybersecurity awareness, Katie collaborates with her students to implement cybersecurity training in her regional school district, which spans 13 towns.

In the classroom, Katie’s commitment to interactive learning is exemplified through hands-on activities such as interactive labs and CTF challenges. These dynamic learning experiences not only enhance students’ practical skills but also cultivate a problem-solving mindset crucial in the cybersecurity domain.

Katie is exceptionally proud of her pursuit of innovative cybersecurity education initiatives that extend beyond the classroom. She regularly takes students to help lead interactive cybersecurity workshops at senior and community centers in the surrounding towns. Katie is a champion, enhancing cybersecurity career awareness in both her district and the broader community.

CharlesCharles Wang, 9-12th Grade Computer Science Teacher 
Charles Wang is a Computer Science Teacher for 9-12th grade at Clear Springs High School in Clear Creek Independent School District in League City, Texas. In just three years of teaching, Charles created cybersecurity lessons that have been leveraged across his district and the state of Texas, serving as by example for other educators.

Charles created a mini cybersecurity unit for his Pre-AP computer science class, which later evolved into a full-fledged cybersecurity capstone. Leveraging students’ prior programming knowledge, he dives deep into tackling cybersecurity challenges, preparing them for future careers.

Charles is proud of the sessions he presented at the inaugural 2022 We Teach Cyber Collaborative, where over 20 teachers earned their Security+ certifications. This collaboration aims to enhance high school CTE teachers’ ability to prepare students for cybersecurity careers.

Congratulations to Beth, Reginald, Katie, and Charles for receiving CYBER.ORG’s 2024 Educator Award! Help us celebrate this year’s winners at the Educator Awards banquet during EdCon 24.  

Thank you to Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency (CISA) and our sponsors Palo Alto Networks, College Board Career Kickstart, CS for Success, Parallax, Inc. and Check Point! Your invaluable support plays a pivotal role in guaranteeing K-12 students nationwide can access cybersecurity education and pursue cybersecurity careers in greater numbers.

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