Quincy Jr/Sr High students in Mrs. York-Germann's Advanced Placement Computer Science Principles (2019-20 School Year) collaborate on solving a coding problem. From left: Gaia Nelson, Brystol Beatley and Elizabeth Higgins. Photo submitted

Area high schools receive AP Computer Science Female Diversity Award

Two Plumas Unified School District high schools are recipients of The College Board AP® Computer Science Female Diversity Award for 2020. Both Portola Junior Senior High and Quincy Junior Senior High are being recognized as schools that are closing the gender gap and expanding young women’s access to computer science coursework.

Portola High Principal Sara Sheridan said, “We are thrilled that our school received the AP Computer Science Female Diversity Award. After two years of offering AP Computer Science on our campus, it is wonderful to see that our female students are thriving in a course where they have been historically underrepresented.”

She credits Portola High’s computer science teacher and said, “Our instructor, Elisabeth Henson, has done an outstanding job of encouraging and engaging our students in this course!”

“In training to teach this class, I learned that Computer Science isn’t a field in which women are fully represented and I am so proud that I can bring this class and opportunity to our mountain girls, as well as all of our mountain students,” Henson said. “One of our graduates who took this class is even considering minoring in computer science in college!”


Quincy High Principal Tom Brown has similar praise for computer science teacher Becky York-Germann. “We are proud of the work that Mrs. York-Germann is doing by providing a rigorous course that is accessible to all our female students, and proud of our female students for choosing to pursue this challenging class,” he said.

The College Board, an organization that connects students to college success and opportunity, is honoring schools that have either reached 50 percent or higher female examinee representation in Advanced Placement (AP) computer science courses, or whose percentage of the female examinees met or exceeded that of the school’s female population. Portola and Quincy high schools offered the AP Computer Science Principles course twice, in the 2019-2020 school year, and again in this current school year. A total of 1,119 schools are being recognized for their work toward equal participation of traditionally underrepresented groups during the 2019-2020 school year.