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lisahaldemanLisa Haldeman


Charles County Public Schools

Former Technology Facilitator, William B. Wade Elementary School



How did you get into computing?

I began my career in education as a substitute teacher at my son’s school. Within a few weeks, I moved into the position of library instructional assistant, and also became a part-time Kindergarten instructional assistant. The position of computer teacher became available, and I was hired as one of the first in a new position, Technology Facilitator. In the beginning we focused on teaching students keyboarding and Microsoft Office–Word, Power Point, and Excel-as well as a math and reading program. Ten years into my career, the school system began a relationship with 


What are some successes and challenges you've had along the way?

There are always some students to whom computer science concepts come easy, and then there are those who may struggle to learn. For myself, learning to code was a challenge, but one I accepted because I felt this was a skill everyone needs. Two former students have reached out to me, excited to tell me about their continuing studies in computer science. One even told me that if it weren’t for me, he wouldn't be where he is now. That makes me feel teaching computer science is worth it!

Sometimes it was a struggle to gain support for the CS lessons. But to see the excitement on a student’s face when they are successful–whether at coding a robot or solving a puzzle in–I know I chose the right course.


What do you like about computing education? 

I feel that Computer Science/computer education is important for everyone to learn. I always tried to impress upon my students that no matter where they go in life, no matter what they choose to be or do, the lessons of computer science will follow them. They learn persistence, algorithm and problem solving skills, and those lessons can help you through any obstacle in life. I love that CS teaches those skills–and there are so many ways to learn! Whether students are coding on a computer, doing hands-on coding with an Ozobot or Bee Bot, or even completing an unplugged activity…there are so many ways to reach them and teach them computer science!

Dianne O'Grady-Cunniff, dogrady at usmd dot edu
Director, Maryland Center for Computing Education

Dr. Megean Garvin, mgarvin at usmd dot edu
Director of Research, Maryland Center for Computing Education

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Maryland Center for Computing Education
3300 Metzerott Rd. Adelphi, MD 20783
MCCE received initial support from the National Science Foundation, (MSP)2 Grant No. 0831970.