#WomeninSTEM · #WomeninTech · Computer Science · education · inspiration · K-12 Influencers · school · Science · STEM · women who reign

K-12 Influencers: Katie O’Shaughnessey

Struggle confirms the possible of life.

Meet Katie O’Shaughnessey! Katie teaches computer science and math at Hopkins School in New Haven, CT. This year she is part of Microsoft and Harvard’s AP  pilot for high schools.

Tell us about yourself along with a fun fact!
I used to be an actress. My favorite role was Grizabella in Cats.

Favorite website / app:
CS50

Someone who inspires you and knowledge they have imparted:
Qwaye Bright, my first administrator, inspires me. She is strong and an incredible female leader. She taught me the importance of working hard to get it right for students, rather than just completing tasks.  

Challenge you’ve faced and how you overcame it:
When my oldest son was approaching school age, we lived in a district with failing schools. I left my previous career to become a Teach For America Corps Member so that I could help make a positive impact in the area of education after learning how poor our school district was.

Describe what it means for you to be a K-12 Influencer in STEM.
I was a CS major in college, one of only three women that I remember in a department of over 70. I did not understand how much stereotype threat negatively influenced my perception of my ability until many years later, when I started teaching CS again. I want every girl I teach to feel included, and never feel left out the way I did during undergrad.

What knowledge would you impart to other K-12 Influencers in STEM?
It matters that we discuss comfort level and experience as very real influences on student ability in computer science courses. I love using skiing as an analogy. You would never expect to ski as well as someone who had started when they were two your first time on the slope. The same is true with coding.

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