A graduate of Shenandoah University’s Career Switcher Program is one of two recipients of the U.S. Department of Education and National Security Agency’s Presidential Cybersecurity Education Award.
Kristi Rice ’16, teaches at Spotsylvania High School in Spotsylvania County, Virginia. The other honoree is Sergio de Alba, of Miano Elementary School in Los Banos, California.
“Talented and passionate educators like Mrs. Rice and Mr. de Alba help light a spark of curiosity in our students to explore the exciting world of cybersecurity. And high-quality cybersecurity education can inspire a lifelong passion among the next generation of professionals in this field, who will protect our cyber networks and help secure our nation’s future prosperity,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona in a press release. “It is my privilege to recognize Mrs. Rice and Mr. de Alba for their dedication and accomplishments, which serve as an inspiration for cybersecurity educators across America.”
“The Presidential Cybersecurity Education Award, now in its second year, is presented annually to one elementary educator and one secondary educator. Awardees are selected for their superior accomplishments as educators, academic achievement indicators, and leadership contributing to the field of cybersecurity,” the release states.
“Mrs. Rice is a local, state, and national leader in expanding cybersecurity education and increasing access to high-quality programs to groups underrepresented in the industry,” the release states. “She leads Spotsylvania High School’s Cyber Knights program, which provides students with technical resources to pursue their interests in cybersecurity. Mrs. Rice led the all-girls Cyber Knights team that placed second in the 2019 and 2020 Girls Go Cyberstart National Championships. She also designed a pacing guide for educators teaching cybersecurity fundamentals that has been shared nationally. Mrs. Rice’s students have a 100% graduation rate; a 100% college, military, and career readiness attainment rate; and 98.2% earn industry certifications.”
“This is a huge honor to be recognized as the single secondary-level educator across the nation for cybersecurity education. I am so excited that I get to represent Spotsylvania High School and share the amazing things the Cyber Knights are doing to put us on the map nationally. I am also grateful that I get to help other cybersecurity educators across Virginia and the United States by sharing resources to get their programs started.”
– Kristi Rice ’16, winner of the Presidential Cybersecurity Education Award