Emilie Barnard

Regional Manager & Specialist

Microsoft Philanthropies TEALS Program - we're a program that helps schools build and grow sustainable computer science programs through partnerships between classroom teachers and tech volunteers

I manage computer science teaching teams in high schools in the Pacific Northwest. This involves recruitment, training and mentorship in computer science content and teaching pedagogy, managing relationships, and other projects to increase access to quality computer science education.

Computer science education is my jam - it's such a creative field that allows for so many possibilities. I love being part of a movement that increases awareness and allows more students to get a glimpse into what it has to offer. My current role provides a platform to me to do this on a large scale.

My routine changes daily. Some days I start with observing one of our teaching teams as they teach computer science to their students. Pre-COVID, I traveled to visit these classes in-person. I frequently connect with tech volunteers and people in various levels of education - classroom teachers, principals, and superintendents to name a few. I help plan and host events and training sessions for our classroom teachers and volunteers, and speak about our program with larger audiences. I work with a great team, and often collaborate with my teammates to ensure we are serving our region as effectively as possible.

I was a first-generation college student. I was a very driven student and double-majored in Computer Science and Mathematics in undergrad. I then earned my Masters in Computer Science at UC Santa Barbara. During my graduate studies, I worked as a teaching assistant for the university's introductory course and fell in love with teaching. I had the opportunity to be the instructor of record for a summer course at UCSB, and then transitioned to professor positions at community colleges. A recruiter reached out to me on LinkedIn about TEALS, and I jumped at the opportunity.

I'm not sure - I truly love what I do. I think I'll always be involved in computer science education in one way or another. Part of me would like to go back to school to engage in more computer science education research and earn a doctorate degree. I'm grateful that I've worked to be in a field where there are many options.

With my cat by my side, I enjoy playing video games on my self-built gaming computer. I also like to build and use mechanical keyboards. I've recently started a fountain pen collection and try to draw as much as I can.

The most damaging phrase in the language is 'We’ve always done it this way'." - Grace Hopper