WOOD-RIDGE, NJ - Wood-Ridge announced it had been recognized for diversity in the classroom at the February Board of Education meeting.

The district received the Colllege Board's AP Computer Science Female Diversity Award, it was announced by Albie Nieves, Board president. He called teacher Steven Olsen to the stage to accept the award. Wood-Ridge is one of 639 schools received the award in AP Computer Science Principles, and is the second year the school received it.

According to the College Board's website, "schools receiving the AP Computer Science Female Diversity Award have achieved either a 50% or higher female representation in one or both AP computer science courses or a percentage of female computer science examinees that meets or exceeds that of the school’s female population."

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"The field of computer science has traditionally been male dominated, and opportunities for females limited," said Olsen. "By encouraging females to pursue CS in high school opens the doors to potential high paying technology careers in the growing field of computer science."

According to Olsen, Wood-Ridge only began offering AP CS classes in 2016 which was the first time College Board offered AP Computer Science Principles.  Since then, the district has added AP Computer Science A (Java). 

"Over those four years, I have consistently encouraged all of my math students to pursue computer science and have also promoted activities with current AP CS students visiting seventh and eighth grade classrooms for fun introductory coding activities," he said.

This year is Olsen's ninth year teaching at Wood-Ridge High School and 11th year teaching high school math.  In addition to the two AP CS classes, he also teaches calculus and precalculus.  Prior to his teaching career, he spent 20 years in the industrial automation field after earning a degree in electrical engineering from the University of Rochester.

"I am honored to be recognized by AP, but more proud of the accomplishments of my AP CS students," said Olsen. "During the four years that we have offered these courses, our students have exceeded the national average for scores each of those years."


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