Burnsville High School technology teacher Cindy Drahos has been named the top 2017 Aspiring Educator Award winner and one of her students, senior Anna Bunce, received honorable mention in the Minnesota Aspirations in Computing Awards.
The awards are presented by the National Center for Women and Information Technology and honor young women in grades 9-12 for their computing-related achievements and interests. Along with the recognition, winners are awarded prizes ranging from tech devices to job shadowing opportunities at Minnesota businesses.
Drahos teaches computer science at Burnsville High School, including the new IT Exploration Class in which students work side-by-side with Best Buy Geek Squad agents to operate the school’s own technology help desk. Drahos and her students were instrumental to the successful rollout of BHS’s one-to-one initiative, planning and executing the distribution of more than 2,000 Chromebooks and getting students up and running on their new devices. She makes real-world learning opportunities a priority, organizing field trips to local technology companies and events, as well as bringing in IT experts to speak to her classes.
Anna Bunce’s passion for technology has grown steadily since she created games using an online coding program called “Scratch” in middle school. At BHS, she is a student leader in the IT Exploration class and technology help desk, assisting and training incoming students. She has actively shared her experiences, speaking before the Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191 Board of Education, providing testimonials to incoming 9th graders, and answering questions as part of the student panel at a recent Best Buy and Google #ExploreEDU showcase event at BHS. As a result of her award, Anna now has the opportunity to interview for a paid summer internship at one of several large companies in the Twin Cities area. In the fall, she plans to attend North Central University in Minneapolis and major in computer science.
“We are so fortunate to have Ms. Drahos at Burnsville High School, building an incredibly strong computer science program that provides unique opportunitiesfor students,” said Dave Helke, BHS principal. “Anna is a great example of how students can excel when they find their passion and their pathway. We couldn’t be prouder.”
Both Anna and Drahos will be honored at an awards ceremony on April 18.