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Local Educator’s Trip to Washington, DC focuses on Cybersecurity

neil plotnick

Dear Mr. Mitchell,

  Creating new, innovative, and exciting career pathways is critical to ensuring our kids stay engaged and motivated at school while learning about all the potential career opportunities available to them – and we need to start young! One such way we as educators can do that is by integrating cybersecurity into the K-12 curriculum we teach our children and emphasizing that even students at the youngest elementary levels can learn cybersecurity.

  Sen. Elizabeth Warren understands the importance of this, and I recently had the privilege of meeting with her office while in Washington, D.C., attending CYBER.ORG’s Cyber Education Discovery Forum (CEDF) of 2022 to share just how Everett High School is broadening horizons for our underserved and underrepresented students.

  In my classroom as an educator in Everett, Massachusetts, I have integrated cybersecurity curriculum into my lessons plans with the help and leadership from CYBER.ORG, a cybersecurity workforce development organization that targets K-12 students with cyber career awareness, curricular resources, and teacher professional development within the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). Not only has CYBER.ORG provided me with free curriculum and resources for my students, but it has also empowered me to confidently teach cybersecurity in my classroom through its ongoing, teacher-focused professional development resources.

  The impact on my students has been astonishing, and I cannot thank CYBER.ORG and Sen. Elizabeth Warren enough for their efforts to increase cyber literacy among our students. Through CYBER.ORG’s teacher resources, I have taught students how to use offensive and defensive cybersecurity tools to protect networks from attack. The students have learned about the many area companies that are leaders in the cybersecurity field.

  I’ve witnessed firsthand the positive impacts of exposing my students to cybersecurity has had. By exposing my students to cybersecurity young and helping them explore various career paths within the cybersecurity field, the career – and in some cases the life – trajectory of some of the students most in need of our support have significantly changed for the better.

  Thank you to Sen. Elizabeth Warren and CYBER.ORG for their continued efforts and leadership to help educators continue to train and prepare our children, the next generation of cybersecurity professionals, for the careers of tomorrow. Ensuring that every student in the nation is cyber literate through the expansion of K-12 cybersecurity education is only made possible by the dedication of our nation’s educators and the continued support of our federal and industry partners.

Sincerely,

Neil Plotnick

Computer Science Teacher

Everett High School

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