Academy For Software Engineering
Six weeks ago I wrote a post talking about a new NYC public high school called the Academy For Software Engineering. I wrote that post the day after Mayor Mike Bloomberg announced the creation of this new high school in his State Of The City speech.
In the six weeks since that post, a lot has happened and I want to give everyone an update.
First, and most importantly, we have a leader for the school. His name is Seung Yu. His first name is pronounced like sing. He's been in several new high schools working directly for the Principal waiting for his opportunity to lead a new school and now he has found it. I've been working very closely with Seung for the past four weeks and I'm really impressed with his passion and commitment and considerable talents.
We are now recruiting the first class of 9th graders. Today and tomorrow are big days as we will be at the citywide High School Fair at Martin Luther King Jr High School on the Upper West Side. The fair is on from 10am to 2pm both days this weekend and Seung and I will be there along with many of the folks on the school's advisory board. Next week on Tuesday night there is an open house for parents and students at Google's office and next weekend there is an open house for parents and students at NYU. And there is one more open house the following week at NYU. If you know any students who are going into ninth grade and are a fit for this school, please tell them and their parents to come to the High School Fair and the Open Houses. That's the best way for them to get into this school.
We also have a full blown web presence now. We have a website, a twitter, and a facebook page. I'd like to thank Sean Gallagher for his tireless and excellent work on all of our physical and virtual brand presence. Sean is creative, technical, and hilarious. His sense of humor and vision will be plastered on this school for many years to come.
I'd also like to thank AVC community member Larry Erlich who left a comment on that first post six weeks ago that he was gifting the school a handful of web domains. That was the gift that kept giving and giving. With Larry's help, we assembled a bunch of domains, decided to use afsenyc.org, and lit that one up. Larry has also helped with a bunch of stuff around getting our web presence live. He's an example of what makes this community so great and why it is such a force.
There are literally dozens of people in the NYC tech community who have given massive amounts of their time for this school. The advisory board has people on it from many of the big and small tech companies in NYC. It is led by Evan Korth of NYU who has become a full partner in this effort. Evan's research interest is K-12 computer science education and he's getting a real-time live immersion in that right now.
Finally, I need to call out the NYC DOE. It's easy to dismiss government as big, slow, dumb, bureaucratic, and ineffective. I know I've been guilty of that myself. But I have to tell you that the DOE has impressed me again and again in this effort. The folks we work with are smart, committed, decisive, and most surprisingly, they are risk takers. There are too many of them to mention here, but they know who they are and I am extremely grateful for their efforts to get this school off the ground.
I'll end with a video that the folks at Makerbot (also on the advisory board) put together to explain this school and what its all about to the parents and students who are considering it. Please pass this on to any 8th graders you know in the NYC school system that you think might like to go to a high school and learn how to make software.