Amador Valley High

Amador High School student mentors and their middle school mentees from Pleasanton Unified School District recently had a virtual meeting to discuss how to write code and what they have learned so far.

For the meeting, they chose March 5, because the following Monday was International Women’s Day and its celebration of women advancing in high-profile, traditionally male careers. The Amador girls, in turn, are being mentored by adult advisors who do professional coding for some of the well-known major companies in Pleasanton. The advisors include Shelby Elgood of Workbench, Shrimathi Vetri from Kaiser, and Sanjukta Davulturi from Oracle.

The keynote speaker for the day was Chloe Condon, senior cloud engineer at Microsoft.

This is the club’s fifth year, and already, it has won awards. Last year, Amador was one of 639 schools in the nation to win a Female Diversity Award, although 20,000 schools were eligible. A district statistic for 2018 to 2020 cites a 10% increase in total student participation in computer science programs, which have doubled in offerings because of increased interest. The club also fits into the district’s Career Technical Education pathway designed to also educate students about robotics, game theory and virtual reality devices.

There was some expense last year in setting up the coding class, but this year, it cost the district nothing. Math teacher Kevin Kiyoi, a club advisor, and Crystal Korbas, the district’s new assistant director of adult and career education, were able to find a free platform that can be used online to modify code live, in real time.