SAN DIMAS/LA VERNE – San Dimas High School has been recognized by the College Board for its work in establishing equal gender representation in its Advanced Placement Computer Science Principles (AP CSP) class, honoring the school with its 2022 AP Computer Science Female Diversity Award.
This is the first year that San Dimas High has been recognized with the award since initiating its program in 2019. The award is given to schools that have AP CSP classes with 50% or more female exam taker representation, or a percentage of CSP exam takers that meets or exceeds that of the school’s female population. San Dimas is one of just 832 high schools across the United States to receive the award in 2022.
“We are thrilled to receive this award from the College Board. It’s very important for the industry that we have more female representation in tech,” San Dimas AP CSP teacher Leslie Leaming said. “Computer science is a dynamic field and most students don’t realize that it can be a lucrative career path for them. It’s something they’ve never thought of before. The CSP course is so relevant to our students’ lives. I wish every student could take it.”
Leaming switched her focus to computer science after more than 20 years teaching history, including AP U.S. History, after taking a computer science course herself and realizing what a positive impact it could have for San Dimas students. Leaming connected with math teacher Jerolyn Prust, who had prior experience teaching the more advanced AP Computer Science A (AP CPA) course, and the two worked toward establishing the curriculum at the school.
“Leslie is a perfect fit for CSP because there’s so much overlap with the subjects that she has taught for years, history and the social sciences,” Prust said. “It’s really important for our students to learn how the administration of computers work, to understand the ethics and privacy issues involved. We need our kids to learn how it all fits together and aspire to become coders and programmers and experts in fields like cybersecurity.”
Leaming and Prust have inspired many students to pursue majors in computer science, with Class of 2022 graduates attending universities such as UC Berkeley, USC, UCLA and Cal Poly Pomona.
“I am so proud of Leslie and Jerolyn, who have worked so hard to bring a world-class computer science program to San Dimas, who serve as role models to our students and have inspired countless young women to participate and consider it as a career path,” San Dimas Principal Scott Sparks said.
Leaming also teaches a Tech Innovations class, an elective that is not part of the AP program. Students learn how to tear down a computer and rebuild it from scratch, explore operating systems such as LINUX, and study the essential elements of cybersecurity. Leaming is currently working toward a master’s degree in cybersecurity through the National Security Agency’s (NSA) National Centers of Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity.
“Congratulations to San Dimas High School for this outstanding honor,” Superintendent Matt Wien said. “The Bonita Unified community is well-served by teachers such as Leslie Leaming and Jerolyn Prust, who are committed to bringing new ideas to our students and working towards equity and diversity, and by administrators like Scott Sparks, who provide the support for these programs to make them available to all students.”
BUSD_SDHS_AP1: San Dimas High School has been recognized by the College Board for its work in establishing equal gender representation in its Advanced Placement Computer Science Principles classes, honoring the school with its 2022 AP Computer Science Female Diversity Award. San Dimas High computer science teacher Leslie Leaming, pictured with student Janessa Rodriguez, worked with math and science teacher Jerolyn Prust to develop the school’s AP Computer Science curriculum.
BUSD_SDHS_AP2: San Dimas High School students Scarlett Munoz (left) and Ella Brown (right) share their assignments with math and science teacher Jerolyn Prust. Prust, who teaches the school’s AP Computer Science A class, worked with computer science teacher Leslie Leaming to develop the school’s AP Computer Science program, which was recently recognized by the College Board with its 2022 AP Computer Science Female Diversity Award.