Xavier computer science

Jamie Stelnik, Bethany Barnwell and Sophia Plumb plan on looking into computer science-based careers thanks to classes at Xavier.

Xavier’s done it again – the prep school is one of only 54 high schools in the country to receive the College Board AP Computer Science Female Diversity Award for both AP Computer Science A and AP Computer Science Principles courses. Most notably, this is their third year obtaining the honor.  

“To qualify, schools must have at least 50% of females taking the course,” Xavier Director of Marketing and Staff Development Lisa Zuba said.

Senior Jamie Stelnik, who will attend Johns Hopkins University in the fall and major in computer science, said that “Having Xavier give access to computer science classes and make the industry more diverse makes me very happy. I’m excited that I’m able to follow my passion.” She plans to work in cybersecurity in the future.

Stelnik credits Xavier’s computer science teacher with helping the school win the award. “Ms. Wyman is an amazing teacher,” she said.  

Xavier requires all sophomores to take an introductory course to learn how to code. From there, about 10% of the students choose to enroll in the two AP computer science classes for which Xavier won the award. For those girls committed to this field of study, they can also take Computer Science 3D Printing & Prototyping as an elective. 

“Winning the Dual AP Computer Science Female Diversity Award means that Xavier is working toward gender equality through representation in computer science,” senior Sophia Plumb said. “I’ve always wished for more diversity in the industry, so I’m proud to be a part of this work toward improvement.” 

Plumb said attending Xavier gives her opportunities to excel in the classroom and be exposed to female role models, especially in the industry. 

“Taking computer science courses in high school has given me the confidence to major in it next year and soon enter into the increasingly diverse computer science industry,” Plumb said. 

Senior Bethany Barnwell is also proud that her school won the award. “It was because of this program at Xavier that I got interested in computer science. I was planning on majoring in medicine in college, but now I’ve changed my career goals to be more computer science-oriented. I’m very grateful for the opportunities that Xavier has given me.”