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Saugus High receives national award for improving computer science opportunities for female students

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Saugus High School recently received national recognition for its efforts during the 2022-23 academic year for expanding young women’s access to advanced placement study in Computer Science. The school was one of 834 in the country to earn the College Board’s AP Computer Science Female Diversity Award.

“Your leadership in creating more equitable access to computer science courses is helping to prepare more young women for the high-paying, in-demand jobs of the future, and giving them the opportunity to solve some of society’s greatest challenges,” Advanced Placement Program Head Trevor Packer wrote in a letter to Saugus High School Principal Brendon Sullivan.

Packer also recognized Saugus High Computer Science teacher Derek Serino “for contributing to this great achievement.”

“This honor acknowledges the amazing work your school is doing to close the gender representation gap in computer science,” Packer wrote.

“Research shows that female students who take AP computer science are more likely to major in computer science in college compared to female students of similar background and academic preparation,” he said.

Saugus Superintendent of Schools Michael Hashem announced the award at last week’s School Committee meeting. “He’s doing great things with that program,” Hashem told the committee.

“It’s a program that’s really starting to take off,” he said.

Saugus High School Principal Sullivan posted on the school website lauding the accomplishment. “Additionally, I want to thank all of our computer science, digital literacy, and STEM teachers throughout the Saugus Public Schools,” Sullivan wrote. “From elementary through high school, we have committed educators who spark the love and interest in computer science among our students. And, of course, we are tremendously proud of our female AP Computer Science students who are also recognized by this award.”

“Obviously, we are incredibly proud of this achievement,” Sullivan said in an email to The Saugus Advocate.

“We have spent time and effort to increase student access to Advanced Placement courses, and this is evidence of that work,” he said.

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