Can you help? Chief Sealth IHS seeking volunteer engineers/ programmers for Technology Education And Literacy in Schools

With less than a month and a half to go in this school year, it’s time to look ahead to 2015-2016 – and as part of that, Chief Sealth International High School is seeking volunteers to help with a new class as part of the Technology Education And Literacy in Schools program. CSIHS principal Aida Fraser-Hammer explains:

Starting in the fall, Chief Sealth International High School will be participating in the Technology Education And Literacy in Schools (TEALS) program as we pilot a semester-long programming class officially titled Introduction to Computer Science. We are in search of volunteer software engineers/programmers willing to team-teach programming in the classroom 2 days per week for the next school year. No teaching experience is necessary; all training and additional supports will be provided by the TEALS program as we begin planning for team-teaching the course in September.

TEALS has already partnered with the other SPS high schools and the program has been
extremely successful in getting students hooked into computer programming and interested in pursuing higher education in the field of computer science. The implementation of this new class at CSIHS will mean that all SPS comprehensive high schools will now have a strong partnership with TEALS, and Sealth’s students will also be exposed to a challenging class to ignite the quest for further educational pursuits in computer science. Below are a few other miscellaneous facts which may help potential software engineers consider volunteering their time to teach introductory programming to students at Sealth:

· Currently Sealth offers Computer Applications and Web Design I.

· Over the last two years Sealth students have earned just over 300 Microsoft Office Specialist certifications (146 this year) via the Computer Applications course.

· Over the last two years 10 students (6 this year) have earned the prestigious Microsoft Office Master certification via the Computer Applications course.

· This school-year 74 girls attended IGNITE events and 17 students wrote essays to attend the Blacks at Microsoft Student Day conference. We anticipate a very diverse group of students in the programming course based on expressed interest.

· Over 100 students participated in the Hour of Code in December.

· Advanced Web Design I students have completed some JavaScript & JQuery lessons as time permitted.

The students at SCIHS are excited and eager to go to this next step in computer science by participating in this new Introduction to Computer Science. However, we need volunteer software engineers to make it successful. We are hopeful that local West Seattleite programmers would be willing to assist TEALS and Sealth get a solid computer science course off the ground. Interested volunteers can email TEALS manager Lori Whippler Hollasch at and/or CSIHS teacher John Wright at for more information and to get the discussion started.

The primary focus of TEALS is to enhance and grow the skills of teachers committed to learn programming. In Sealth’s case, John Wright is the teacher who transitioned two years ago, after teaching math for nine years, to Sealth’s existing computing courses. He has played with light programming, has been involved with a few website projects over the years, and in his pre-teaching industry experience used to do “baby VBA” tweaks to Access databases and Excel spreadsheets. Currently he has A+, Net+, and a few MTA (Microsoft Technology Associate) introductory certifications. Wright admits that he is a little bit geeky, but “definitely not at a programmer level and thus looking forward to the opportunity to team-teach with actively working programmers to allow time to finesse my skills, and in time to expand future programming options for Sealth students.”

7 Replies to "Can you help? Chief Sealth IHS seeking volunteer engineers/ programmers for Technology Education And Literacy in Schools"

  • Anthony Hutchinson April 30, 2015 (9:23 am)

    I find it appalling that an organization focussed on our community is helping the Seattle School District implement educational programs that rely on volunteer teachers. They should be paying qualified teachers to teach these classes rather than relying on volunteerism. As a media outlet you should be calling them out for failing to provide the education our children need rather than helping them violate our childrens constitutional rights.

    • WSB April 30, 2015 (9:35 am)

      Our publishing of this or any request on behalf of a school, nonprofit, etc., does not constitute an endorsement of it. We published a similar request from West Seattle High School two months ago, FWIW, and have published many other requests for the donated time, materials, and money which schools both public and private request these days to support a variety of programs. – TR

  • jwright April 30, 2015 (9:49 am)

    I’m interested to learn how utilizing volunteers in public schools violates “childrens constitutional rights.”

  • Lori Whippler Hollasch, TEALS PNW Regional Manager April 30, 2015 (10:01 am)

    Thanks for raising awareness of the need for high tech volunteers for the TEALS program. Our volunteers partner with classroom teachers to build sustainable high school computer science programs. Along with Chief Sealth HS, TEALS is partnering with 57 other WA state high schools (~170 schools nationwide) to bring computer science opportunities to students. For a complete list of 2015/16 TEALS partner schools needing volunteers, go to and check out the map!

  • miws April 30, 2015 (10:53 am)

    What’s wrong with relying on volunteers in certain situations? It’s a great and rewarding experience for the volunteers, and the recipients of the volunteerism. It builds community. It plants a seed in the recipients to perhaps getting into volunteerism themselves, at some level, at some point in their lives.


    I find comments that could be perceived as insulting to volunteers appalling….



  • dsa April 30, 2015 (11:03 am)

    I think it is great they are seeking volunteer experts.

  • B April 30, 2015 (11:45 am)

    As someone who’s “loaned” engineers to TEALS before, I do support the program. However I can also see the first commenter’s point of view; with something as important as STEM/CS, it would be much better to have it part of the core curriculum with a full time teacher etc.

    But something is better than nothing I guess!

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