CSTA Miami was established in 2019 as your local computer science community. This chapter was built to connect you with other computer science teachers, provide professional development to help you improve your craft, and connect your local voice to the national computer science education community. 

About CSTA

The Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA) understands that teaching computer science is hard. That’s why our dedicated team and teacher-led Board of Directors has focused on creating a strong environment to support K–12 educators.
We’re proud to have created a community that:
  • Is led by K-12 computer science teachers, and puts teacher needs at the forefront
  • Shares the latest best practices in K-12 computer science education
  • Creates local communities across the US + Canada that make sure every computer science teacher has a home.
  • Builds the largest teacher-led computer science professional development event in the world each year!
  • Provides access to exclusive discounts on courses and tools that will take your teaching practice to the next level.
You might be the only computer science teacher in your school, district or town, but as a part of CSTA, we’re in this together.

Your CSTA Miami Leadership Team

Willy Orozco, President
As the South Florida Regional Manager for Technology Education and Literacy in Schools (TEALS), a Microsoft Philanthropies program, Willy helps build sustainable computer science programs in high schools with a focus on serving students excluded from learning CS because of race, gender and geography. He helps classroom teachers to learn to teach CS on their own by pairing them with industry volunteers and proven curricula. Willy past experience include chairing the Engineering and Computer Science Department at Gulliver Academy in Miami. He earned his undergraduate degree in Earth Science Education from Florida International University and has a Level 2 Google Educator Certification. Willy is also a board member of Tech Hub South Florida, Enabling The Future Community where he 3d prints prosthetic hands for kids, and is a builder for Magic Wheelchair. Willy lives with his wife Yvy, his son Mateo and his daughter Luna Mia.
Tell us more about your professional and volunteering experience
I Graduated FIU with a bachelor's in Earth Science Education. As I started my teaching career, I taught only science, but thanks to the efforts of former mentors, technology started to be introduced into science classes. It was then that I started demonstrating an interest in robotics. I enjoyed it so much that a few years later I ended up being the chair of the CS and Engineering Department.

I was one of the founding members of our chapter. Thanks to CSTA Miami, I learned that Microsoft Philanthropies were expanding their TEALS program and Miami was one of their targets. When I realized the impact I could have on dozens of teachers, and hundreds if not thousands of students at a time, I decided to leave the classroom to join the program. Around the same time, I became president of CSTA Miami. During my tenure as president, CSTA Miami has offered its first ever PD and has established the annual CSTA Miami Hackathon.
Explain what strengths, skills and/or experience make you an ideal candidate for this position.
I am passionate about lifting up people's strengths. To me, it is more about doing good than earning a quick buck. I understand what it is to be asked to teach a CS class with little to no background in the subject. That is why I am so passionate about CSTA Miami. I want to help create a community where we can all share resources and support each other. I have experience leading a department of teachers who also did not have a background in the subject, but during my time as the chair of the department, we became a beacon for the school. When I told the school I was leaving, they reached out to ask me to stay as I was, in their words, "an ambassador for the school." This is my biggest strength, I want to be an ambassador to all the members of our chapter!

I am also very good a creating connections. During my time as chapter president, we have created very close ties with CSTA Palm Beach/Broward and Florida. Also with institutions like FIU, Miami Dade College, Miami, Broward, and Palm Beach school districts; and organizations like Code/Art, Microsoft Edu, Microsoft Philanthropies, and Tech Hub South Florida among others. For Tech Hub I have been asked to be on the board of their foundation and ambassador of their association.
What do you hope to accomplish as a member of the CSTA Miami leadership? How does this align with current CSTA activities?
I want CSTA to be the first thing teachers think about when in need of support. CSTA is about building a community by teachers for teachers, but I also want to see students and advocates for CS education as part of that community. It is not about what "I" can accomplish, it is about how can I help YOU accomplish your goals. Together we can better CS education in South Florida.
What experiences and perspectives do you bring to supporting equitable participation in computing education?
I am a Hispanic immigrant who moved to the US on the day of my 16th birthday. I feel privileged to live in a city where we are not the minority, but I still missed many opportunities because I was an ELL student in high school and people did not pay much attention to us. Most of the opportunities being offered then were focused on the "normal" students. It does not matter your socio-economic background, race, or gender, I vow to fight to the nails for equity in CS Education.
Michael Sakowicz, Vice President

Michael is a Robotics, Programming, and all-around Computer Science classroom teacher at iPrep Academy North in Miami, Florida; a proud part of the “Magnet Schools of America” at “Miami-Dade County Public Schools.” After twenty-two years in the private sector of Graphic Arts & Web Development and IT, Michael jumped headfirst, and sure strong to the amazing world of education; following a family of career educators. Michael was named Rookie Teacher of the Year in his second year of teaching and has since earned a master’s degree in Special Education from the University of Miami.

Michael is passionate about making the lab a safe, equitable, and overall fun place for every type of learner, from all backgrounds and entry points of the Computer Science realm. “Learning more each day with the students is so rewarding! As I enter the lab and see the eyes light up with the power to make something come to life and be a real-world application! Wow! That makes me so happy and love this job more and more each day!

Tell us more about your professional and volunteering experience
My professional experience begins with twenty years as a web developer and programmer. After years of private sector work, I made the leap to education, a decision I will never regret, as I love teaching each day. I began my teaching career six years ago with programming, game development, cybersecurity, and multiple levels of web and graphic design. Just prior to becoming a full-time educator, I would spend days volunteering at my mother’s place of work, a neighborhood elementary school, that I attended years prior. While working alongside my mother, I would aid second-grade students with reading and writing, as well as any other volunteer work I could provide. This paved the way not only for a new career in education but, it propelled me to also begin and complete a master’s degree in special education; further cementing my love for the education career. As I start my sixth year, I now teach levels 6-12 in robotics, web development, java/python/HTML/javascript, and multiple other programming languages which, I am excited to embark upon.
Explain what strengths, skills and/or experience make you an ideal candidate for this position.
The strengths I see within myself include the constant drive to want to do more. Entering my sixth year as an educator, I feel I am just getting started and have so much to offer students of all levels of abilities. I have a special skill set that is of programming, and design as well as a degree in special education, which I feel allows me to very well pinpoint exactly what each student specific needs. My experience in the private sector also aids in promoting a constant ‘real-world’ view on the scope of what a programmer does and blending this with my affinity for teaching all, I find a very happy middle ground. It is my true belief that these skills promote me to being an ideal candidate for the Vice President position within the Miami CSTA chapter.
What do you hope to accomplish as a member of the CSTA Miami leadership? How does this align with current CSTA activities?
I hope to accomplish a vast array of important items as Vice President of the CSTA Miami chapter and I have very specific ideas of how we can do this; however, I am of course always a listener, and will always bring everyone’s views to all discussions to where fair democracy rests. For one, I believe the Miami chapter is unique in many ways and can grow far beyond the level of membership and activity we currently see. Due to multiple factors, our chapter has not grown as we would like to see, however with proper promotion, connections, and great PD for all educators in our district, I know we can grow to be one of the country's largest in just a few years. For a second, I feel a unique location deserves a unique perspective on CS. With our vast diverse population of students, educators, leaders, and all other stakeholders, the CSTA Miami chapter can, and will show the country that the gap in CS as we know it, will be minimalized, and access to all great CS resources will be made available. Third, and beyond, I want our chapter to have fun and enjoy CS education. I would love to see our chapter thrive for the right reasons; albeit gathering of folk’s after-hours, family events, and beyond, our community is so wonderful, I believe the sky is the limit.
What experiences and perspectives do you bring to supporting equitable participation in computing education?
The experiences I bring to help support equitable CS education are many. I have been an educator in multiple school locations geographically and have seen what each specific student may need, day in and out. I have seen the families of our students and how socioeconomic factors compound the current state of CS education. I have seen other cities and counties' resources and feel Miami is not lacking, however, we can and will expand and grow to become far more equitable. Within Miami’s growing tech-based community, I feel we are in a perfect position to minimalize the disparity and to grow worldwide levels of equity for all students and humans who want to be a part of this amazing discipline. I have helped these students and families in the recent past by volunteering and making sure my teaching and local leadership reaches all types of students and families. For this, I truly feel I am an equitable and noteworthy candidate for the position of Vice President of CSTA Miami.
Laura Mejia, Secretary 

Laura is the Marketing & Administrative Assistant at Code/Art, a nonprofit dedicated to increasing the number of girls studying computer science by delighting and inspiring them with the creative possibilities of computer programming. In addition to hosting weekly coding clubs for girls in grades 3–8 and creative coding competitions for girls in grades 3-12, Code/Art looks to empower K-12 teachers to introduce computer science skills into their classroom teachings. 


Laura is a recent Florida International University graduate with a Media + Design Studies, BA and previously interned at the Miami-Dade County School Board. As a first-generation college graduate, she has always valued propelling minority youth, especially young girls, to discover their passion and pursue their dreams.

I am the current Marketing & Administrative Assistant at Code/Art where I assist in increasing awareness of Code/Art’s coding programs through social media, email marketing, and website development. Before Code/Art, I interned at the Miami-Dade County Public Schools, School Board for District 9 assisting in event preparation and development.
Explain what strengths, skills and/or experience make you an ideal candidate for this position.
I consider myself a quick learner and team player that strongly believes in supporting the CS educational community. I am also a good listener and detail note taker.
What do you hope to accomplish as a member of the CSTA Miami leadership? How does this align with current CSTA activities?
As a member of the CSTA Miami leadership, I hope to assist in expanding the CSTA mission across Miami area schools and help computer science teachers feel supported.
What experiences and perspectives do you bring to supporting equitable participation in computing education?
Working with Code/Art and the nonprofit sector, I have gained insight into the struggles and necessities that computer science teachers are facing in the classroom. Likewise, CSTA aims to support computer science teachers and create an innovative and supportive community. With my current experience, I believe that I can shed a light on the needs teachers are facing when trying to create an inclusive and diverse classroom environment. Furthermore, as a recent high-school and college graduate, I understand the student perspective and evolving classroom needs.
Grace Torres, Director of Community Engagement

Grace is an art teacher at an elementary school in Miami-Dade.  After 15 years of teaching within the museum education and nonprofit field, Grace has made the transition to formal education.


As a  museum educator and nonprofit administrator, Grace engaged and empowered various communities to think outside of the box and enjoy art for art's sake. As a first-generation American, former magnet art kid, and art history major, Grace has always strived to find ways to introduce youth to new ideas and opportunities, as well as allow them to experience their creative side. You can follow Grace on Instagram: @museumparty.


Tell us more about your professional and volunteering experience

I have worked with or in schools throughout my 15+ professional career in the nonprofit/ education field. My background is primarily in museum education and education. I have worked for The Miami Foundation, Code/Art, Perez Art Museum Miami, City Year Miami, and KLA Schools in Brickell (a preschool). You can learn more about my experience on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/grace-torres/


Explain what strengths, skills and/or experience make you an ideal candidate for this position.

Through my work at the Perez Art Museum Miami (PAMM), Code/Art, and The Miami Foundation, I have an extensive network of nonprofits and different communities in Miami that I have worked with in different capacities: collaboration, partnerships, and networking. I have co-hosted events with Miami EdTech, PS305, and others. Coordinated workshops for staff with UM-NSU CARD and Epilepsy Florida, etc. My Instagram has posts that feature my work in the community: https://www.instagram.com/museumparty/


What do you hope to accomplish as a member of the CSTA Miami leadership? How does this align with current CSTA activities?

I hope to be a resource and connector for CSTA Miami. There is a lot of free resources for K-12 teachers and schools out there and I know it is hard for teachers to know of these free resources due to the amount of work they have. I love technology and believe in bridging the diversity gap for Miami kids. Miami is diverse but also very segregated and opportunities and resources are not equally distributed. As a first-generation American, I know it is tough to navigate and learn about the opportunities available to you outside of your bubble.


What experiences and perspectives do you bring to supporting equitable participation in computing education?

I have some light experience in coding and have often been the one to propose new software or technology at my previous roles. I am always looking for resources and information to share. I am passionate about providing access to all of Miami's children as our city continues to grow and be seen as a tech hub, it is important to make sure they are a part of it.

Mark Godinez, Student Engagement / K-16 Liaison

Mark Godinez is the Lead teacher for the Academy of IT at South Dade Senior High School and a Migrant Education teacher after-school working with students from 4th – 8th grade. Mark is also a ReGenerate Tech Teacher Coach for a Metaverse Professional Learning Community.

He is a 2022 National NCWIT Educator of the Year recipient. Has received the AP CSP Female Diversity Award twice and was nominated for the Latinx Educator of the Year award in 2021.

Godinez was named the 2019 and 2020 South Florida Affiliate NCWIT Educator of the Year and the 2018 South Dade Senior High School Teacher of the Year. He was a 2020 NASEF Scholastic Fellow promoting Scholastic Esports and Service learning.  

Mark is passionate about promoting IT and Engineering outside of school. He is dedicated to doing all he can to break down barriers and promote computer science and technology opportunities for all. He founded a National Computer Science Honor Society to help promote computer science in his school and community.


Tell us more about your professional and volunteering experience?

I volunteered in the past when Miami CSTA was formed. I also work in the community in the South area promoting Computer Science and Robotics.


Explain what strengths, skills and/or experience make you an ideal candidate for this position.

First and foremost, I am a funding Chapter leader as Secretary for CSTA Miami. I am currently establishing the first CSTA Honor Society in Miami. This experience will help me develop the necessary skills to promote and support other CSTA Honor Societies in South Florida.
What do you hope to accomplish as a member of the CSTA Miami leadership? How does this align with current CSTA activities?
I hope to expand my leadership skills with a position in the Miami CSTA organization. Alignment to CSTA activities to help expand more opportunities like working organizations like Microsoft TEALS and Code/Art to expand CS in our community.
What experiences and perspectives do you bring to supporting equitable participation in computing education?
I believe in bringing more opportunities to the Miami community. I am a strong proponent of bringing more female and nonbinary students into CS and Engineering courses. As a result, I earned the 2022 National NCWIT Educator of the Year for my role in bringing CS opportunities to female students in my school and community.
Robert Fox, Student Engagement / K-16 Liaison

Rob is a computer science and math teacher at the historic Booker T. Washington Senior High School in Overtown, Miami. In his first four years as an educator, Rob has launched the first ever computer science program at his school, and continually advocated for greater access to CS courses for his students and students across the district. He holds a bachelor's in Computer Science and Statistics from the University of Virginia and a Masters in Education from the University of Miami. Additionally, Rob works as a lead instructor for Miami EdTech, where he has led many training for teachers across the state to help them earn their K-12 Computer Science teaching certification as well as industry certifications in JavaScript and Python.


Tell us more about your professional and volunteering experience?

I am a high school math and computer science teacher at Booker T. Washington Senior HS. In my past three years as a teacher, I have launched the first ever computer science program at our school and grown this to offer multiple courses and reach as many interested students as possible.

Additionally, I work as a lead instructor and curriculum developer for Miami EdTech. I have led courses for prospective CS teachers to earn their FTCE Computer Science teaching certificates, as well as industry certifications in Javascript and Python. I am currently working on projects to enhance the teacher learning experience and attract and retain more teachers to the computer science field.


Explain what strengths, skills and/or experience make you an ideal candidate for this position.

I have my feet on the ground as a CS educator. I see first-hand the needs of our students (as well as teachers) on a daily basis and am in touch with effective instructional practices in teaching CS. At my school, I have worked to create more CS education opportunities for our students, and am interested in continuing to offer our students the best experiences possible.


What do you hope to accomplish as a member of the CSTA Miami leadership? How does this align with current CSTA activities?

I hope to gain a greater understanding of what it takes to attract and retain more students to CS. While my school has provided me with incredible opportunities to do this in my early years as a teacher, I want to expand my reach and advocate for CS education on a greater scale.


What experiences and perspectives do you bring to supporting equitable participation in computing education?

My school is incredibly diverse. Each day, students from underrepresented groups in CS African-American, Latino, and female) enter into my classroom and are exposed to pursuing something that they otherwise might have ever considered. It brings me great joy to know that I am not only exposing students to something new, but I am also working to eliminate the challenges in equity that exist in the field.

Additionally, I was honored to receive the AP CSP Female Diversity Award from the College Board in 2021 for our school's female representation in CS courses.

Delmar Wilson, Chapter Equity Fellow
Math and basketball have been a passion for Delmar Wilson, but while working on his doctoral degree in 2013, he realized there was a gap in diversity in the computer science field. That is when he asked his school to open an AP CS Principles class. Mr. Wilson has also started the Computer Science National Honor Society and is also part of the teacher cohort for the 2022-23 Equity Fellows from CSTA.
Delmar Wilson has been a public school educator for seventeen years, where he has taught mathematics, AP Computer Science Principles, and Cambridge Thinking Skills at Miami Springs Senior High. In 2010 and again in 2021 he was named one of three outstanding African American educators chosen statewide for the Governor's Black History Month Excellence in Education Award Contest. Mr. Wilson was nominated by their peers and students, and was chosen for his contributions to education in Florida. He has also taken charge of the College Impact After-School Prep College Program at his current school, Miami Springs Senior High. Aside from being a teacher, Mr. Wilson is also the Mathematics Department Chair, ESSAC Chairperson, Union Steward, and Head Boys Varsity Basketball Coach.
As Mr. Wilson began working on his doctorate degree in 2013, he came to the realization that there weren’t enough minorities in computer science. He started the AP Computer Science Principles at his school, and initially recruited his ninth graders; none had ever dreamed of taking an AP course or even computer science. Over the years, this course has become a student favorite and last school year he started the Computer Science National Honor Society. One of Mr. Wilson's all time favorite quotes is “If we teach today’s students as we taught yesterday’s, we rob them of tomorrow.” by John Dewey. Mr. Wilson believes as teachers of the 21st century, we have a commitment to ensure that we are effectively teaching our students to prepare them to be future leaders. As a veteran teacher, Mr. Wilson continues to push CS forward by utilizing his CS Honor Society to expose students to Computer Science during Computer Science Week. 
We are very proud to have such an outstanding teacher in our community. CSTA Miami would like to thank current CSTA Equity Fellow Mr. Delmar Wilson for his amazing work and contributions to education.
Carlos Vazquez, Chapter Advisor
Former Chapter President Carlos Vazquez is a Professor at MDC and HS Tech Programs. He worked as a 5th-grade teacher through the New York City Teaching Fellows and then s a coach working with first-year educators throughout NYC and California. Vazquez currently serves as the founding president of Miami EdTech, which provides professional development for educators and equips them with the technology and skills to prepare students for jobs of the future. He also serves as the CEO of CDG Innovations.