Dual Enrollment Instructor Receives National Honor
It is a great honor to be recognized as an educator, and Bhawna Verma, a computer science teacher for the Center for Research in Engineering, Science, and Technology (CREST) program at Paradise Valley High School, has done so with distinction.
Verma is the recipient of the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) 2022 Arizona Affiliate Educator Award Honorable Mention.
"My goal as an educator is to encourage and inspire underrepresented students into STEM academics and professions," Verma said. "Being a woman of color with firsthand experience of the gaps in the industry makes it a personal achievement when a reputed institution such as the NCWIT recognizes me. It validates my efforts and furthers my drive to improve as a teacher, a colleague, and a human being."
Verma worked in the IT industry before she started teaching at Paradise Valley High School in 2018. "This is my first school district, and I am glad to be a part of it as an educator and a parent," she said. Verma provided endorsements for her female and non-binary students for their NCWIT applications, making her eligible for the educator award.
Today, more than ever, it is essential to have a strong understanding of computer science. The digital world we live and work within has become an integral part of our lives as humans - from managing finances through banking systems or shopping online for products with just one click.
"Computer science is integrated into every part of our lives these days," Verma said. "We depend on and consume technology in education, workplace, entertainment, healthcare, manufacturing, automotive, and agriculture, to name a few. Even our homes are equipped with the Internet Of Things, such as virtual assistants, doorbells, and smart electronics. So, no matter what future our students aspire for, learning computer science will provide them with the upper hand to pursue and succeed in their field of interest. Computer science is the gateway to the digital world, and we all should benefit from technology while keeping ourselves safe from cybercrimes."