Byram Hills HS Wins Award Celebrating Female Representation In Computer Science

Byram Hills High School has been recognized for its female representation in computer science, the district announced Thursday, April 11.

Byram Hills High School AP Computer Science Principles female students
Byram Hills High School AP Computer Science Principles female students Photo Credit: Byram Hills High School

The award, called the AP Computer Science Female Diversity Award, is a newly created honor from the College Board that recognizes schools that are closing the gender gap and getting more girls involved in computer science.

The school won the award for having high female representation in the AP Computer Science Principles course during the previous school year, the first time the class was offered.

“I am thrilled that Byram Hills has been given this honor,” said Byram Hills mathematics chairperson, Lisa Pellegrino. “This is a testament to the District encouraging students to take risks and become 21st-century leaders.”

The honor is awarded to schools that have acquired either 50 percent or more female representation in one of two AP computer science classes. Alternatively, it can be received by schools with a percentage of girls who took the AP exam for the course higher than the school’s female population.

Byram Hills met both of these criteria, as female students represented 65 percent of test takers, the College Board says.

Of the more than 18,000 schools that provide AP classes, Byram Hills was one of just 490 schools that earned the award for the AP Computer Science Principles course.

This year, the class's female students (pictured above) are, in front from left: Alexa Schimel, Ellie DeGeorges, Katie Colella, Joely Coviello, Megan Hwang, and in the back from left: Stella Recht, Hailey Jacobs, Jordyn Green, Dylan Starker, Vivien Flokas, Maggie Walsh, and Olivia Conte. Missing from the photo is Jordan Dorfman.

Ms. Pellegrino says that the course is already having a positive effect — two female students who took the class as seniors last year have chosen computer science as their college major.

“The best part of the AP CSP class is that it prepares students not just to study computer science, but provides skills that any student can immediately list on their resume,” Ms. Pellegrino said. “It also provides students with a way of thinking that is applicable to any profession.”

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