This award is the ultimate recognition of the commitment I have to this field. Through this truly reflective process, my work as an educator and approach to teaching has been validated. It represents my professional growth and exemplifies the contributions I've made with colleagues to further advance education. Receiving this award reaffirms my belief that computer science education is essential, and that all students should be challenged to become deep, critical thinkers.

Heather Sutkowski Hartford, CT | K-6, Mathematics, 2016

Heather Sutkowski has been a teacher for 13 years, and has taught kindergarten through sixth grade computer science for the past 5 years at Montessori Magnet School. She previously taught Spanish and French at the elementary through high school levels. Heather motivates students to problem solve, think creatively, and enjoy learning difficult concepts through computer science activities. Beginning in kindergarten, students collaborate to program robots, write computer code to create apps and animations, and build the belief in themselves that they can learn anything. As a member of the Computer Science Teachers Association, Heather's focus for several years has been to advocate for K-12 computer science education. She has facilitated teacher trainings in her school, district, state, and surrounding states, encouraging the belief that all students should have the opportunity to learn computer science in school. She has also worked with state leaders as part of the Connecticut Computer Science Advisory Group to further Connecticut’s effort to bring computer science to all schools. Heather earned a B.A. in modern languages and a B.S. in elementary education, summa cum laude, from the University of Hartford. She also has a M.A. in computing in education from Teachers College, Columbia University. She is certified in elementary education and K-12 Spanish and French.