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Fostering Inclusivity and Passion for Computer Science: Spotlight on JP Simafranca

Headshot of JP Simafranca, a man with short dark brown hair wearing a dark green shirt with a collar

JP Simafranca, a dedicated high school science teacher at Rocky Mount Preparatory Academy, shares the invaluable lessons learned from participating in the training with the Friday Institute. One of the most important aspects highlighted is the significance of inclusivity. As a person of color, JP acknowledges the impact of cultural blindspots in creating a tolerant and inclusive classroom. The training has been instrumental in recognizing and mitigating these biases.

Transformation in Student Engagement

Since the training, JP has consciously applied these insights to lessons and student interactions, limiting cultural blindspots and biases. This intentional approach has resulted in the creation of a classroom where students feel safe, seen and heard. The transformation in student engagement reflects the positive impact of fostering inclusivity in the learning environment.

Addressing Hurdles in Promoting Computer Science

JP faced a challenge in promoting computer science education due to the absence of course offerings in the school. To address this, they initiated a computer science club with the hope of paving the way for future course offerings. JP’s passion for computer science and openness to learning played a crucial role in overcoming obstacles.

Passion and Eagerness to Learn

Despite initial hesitation due to a perceived lack of background in computer science, JP’s passion for the subject and eagerness to learn led to a fulfilling experience at The journey with colleagues through the training became an enjoyable and enriching opportunity to broaden knowledge and skills.

Advice for Educators

JP’s advice to educators interested in computer science is simple yet powerful: “Take it! Start learning today! Now is the pivotal moment for you to help prepare kids for the future!” The encouragement echoes the importance of embracing new challenges and being proactive in shaping the educational landscape.

Gratitude to

In expressing gratitude, JP extends a million thanks to the team, acknowledging the impactful work they do in preparing educators and learners for the future. The recognition emphasizes the collaborative effort and shared commitment to advancing education in the digital age.

JP Simafranca’s story reflects the transformative power of in fostering inclusivity, passion and overcoming challenges in computer science education. As we celebrate Computer Science Education Week, let JP’s journey inspire educators to embrace inclusivity and drive positive change in their classrooms.

Carrie Robledo PLLC Team Member
Carrie Robledo comes to the Friday Institute from a previous appointment as an Educator on Loan, split between the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) and Moore County Schools. At NCDPI, she served as an innovative learning catalyst, working with Digital Teaching and Learning as their Central Region coach and supporting teachers with implementing the NC Digital Learning Standards for Students and the NC Computer Science Standards. In her home district of Moore County, Carrie led the implementation of mCS (Moore Computer Science), a Digital Learning Initiative Grant for K-5 teachers. She was honored as NCTIES’ Outstanding Teacher of the Year in 2020-2021, a Moore County Schools Teacher of the Year in 2019-2020 and was a 2018-2019 Kenan Fellow.