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Frank recognized as CSTA Advocate of the Year | News

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Frank recognized as CSTA Advocate of the Year
News, People, Schools
Frank recognized as CSTA Advocate of the Year

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. — Carl Frank, a computer science instructor at the Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences and the Arts, is the Computer Science Teachers Association Advocate of the Year.

Frank, who serves as president of the Arkansas chapter of the organization, was recognized at the national conference in July. The national award goes to a member of the Computer Science Advocacy Leadership Team (CSALT) who performs outstanding advocacy work for their region.

Frank’s accomplishments included organizing the first Arkansas Computer Science Education Summit, which brought together nearly 200 leaders from the education, government and industry fields. The summit helped set the stage for unanimous passage of Arkansas legislation requiring all public and charter high schools in Arkansas to offer computer science classes.

Frank also is serving as a member of Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s Computer Science Task Force, which is responsible for researching and recommending computer science and technology courses and standards for Arkansas high schools; studying the state’s computer science and technology needs for the state; and recommending strategies to meet the state’s anticipated computer science and technology workforce needs. Frank is also chairing the curriculum subcommittee for the task force.

ASMSA Director Corey Alderdice received an honorable mention for the organization’s Administrator Impact Award, which recognizes an administrator who has made an outstanding contribution in K-12 computer science education.

Frank said he was excited to receive the award, but he said he was just as excited that Arkansas was receiving recognition for its efforts in improving and expanding computer science education opportunities for the state’s students.

“Obviously there is some personal satisfaction” in receiving the recognition, he said. “But more so than that, it’s the recognition that Arkansas is moving forward in computer science education. Now all high schools are going to have to offer computer science education.

“Licensure exists in the state of Arkansas now. That wasn’t even on the horizon a year ago. The governor set aside some money for training to meet this challenge. The Arkansas Academy of Computing, the Arkansas STEM Coalition and the Computer Science Teachers Association all have goals on promoting and supporting computer science education — all of those efforts need to be recognized. It has been a group effort.”

After receiving the award, he said CSTA members from other states approached him to visit about what Arkansas is doing to expand it computer science education program. Their questions ranged from licensure methods to curriculum requirements to oversight regulations.

Frank said he was surprised by the questions. He had planned to ask educators from other states for information. Instead, he found Arkansas was a leader in the computer science education movement.

“We were all asking the same questions. I wanted to go to these states and ask what are you doing that’s working for you. They said why are you asking us? You are ahead of us. It was kinda neat. A lot of them seemed to think Arkansas was leading the pack,” he said.

He said many of the states are catching on to the importance of computer science education and are “trying to out-Arkansas us.”

“It’s an exciting time, not just for Arkansas but the nation. This same thing is happening everywhere else. I suspect as Arkansas does well the states around us will look for guidance,” he said.

Daniel Moix, who serves as the other CSALT member for the Arkansas chapter, nominated Frank for the award. Moix is ASMSA’s computer science education specialist.

In the nomination, Moix cited all of the work Frank has done in the past year to help advance computer science education opportunities in Arkansas. He also cited Frank’s willingness to work with others to achieve those goals as an important asset.

“Carl’s friendly demeanor and ‘never-met-a-stranger” attitude have allowed him to grow a network of engaged stakeholders from all angles, yielding a diverse network of advocates and allies as a direct result of his influence. … His work ensures young people in every district in the state will have access to Computer Science classes,” Moix said.

About ASMSA: The Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences and the Arts is one of 16 public residential high schools in the country specializing in the education of academically gifted juniors and seniors. Located in historic downtown Hot Springs, the school is a campus of the University of Arkansas System. For more information about Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences and the Arts, visit www.asmsa.org or call 1-800-345-2767.




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