Chanel White (Lancaster, TX)

Champion for Computer Science - Teacher

When Chanel White started an after-school coding club at Belt Line Elementary in October 2016, she had no idea how popular it would become.

Within months, the club’s attendance increased from just a handful of dedicated attendees to more than 50—a major achievement in a school of roughly 600 students! In addition, she started teaching a computer science class that has since turned into an entire computer science lab.

Students in Chanel White's classroom.
Students in Chanel White's classroom.

“I was working with mainly minority students, and I wanted to give them exposure to computer science, especially girls,” says White, who had no prior CS teaching experience.

She currently teaches grades 3-4 using the Code.org curriculum, and also runs a lab for 5th graders, using the CS First curriculum to teach. She also oversees a robotics competition for 4th graders in addition to the after-school coding club. White teaches in the Lancaster Independent School District in Texas, where the majority of her students are low income. None of her students had been in a CS class before, and she started her school’s first-ever computer science expo for students to showcase their projects.

“Mrs. White has created a culture of innovation at her elementary school,” said Kimberly Lane Clark, who nominated White.

White is a certified elementary teacher and she recently became certified in computer science to share her knowledge with other teachers and students in the district.

Runner-up: Rebecca Vadakara (Loxahatchee, FL)

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