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Education Department Announces Ohio and California Teachers as 2022 Presidential Cybersecurity Education Awardees

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Today, the U.S. Department of Education (Department) is announcing the 2022 recipients of the Presidential Cybersecurity Education Award, kicking-off Cybersecurity Career Awareness Week. Benjamin Dougherty, of Lakota West High School in West Chester, Ohio, and Robert “Allen” Stubblefield, Jr., of Troy High School in Fullerton, California, were selected as awardees for instilling in their students the skills, knowledge, and passion for cybersecurity.

“Today, we honor two talented and creative educators who are raising the bar for how we prepare students for rewarding careers in the fast-growing field of cybersecurity,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona. “Educators and instructors nationwide can look to Mr. Dougherty and Mr. Stubblefield as glowing examples of what it takes to inspire passion for cybersecurity in our students and equip them with the academic and technical skills sought out by today’s employers. The Department of Education recognizes that cybersecurity educators are essential to our efforts to build stronger pathways for students into well-paying jobs in a field that’s increasingly vital to our nation’s security and prosperity.”

The Presidential Cybersecurity Education Award, now in its third year, is presented annually to two teachers selected for their superior accomplishments as educators, academic achievement indicators, and leadership contributing to the field of cybersecurity. The program also helps to create awareness for cybersecurity occupations, for which there are currently more than 700,000 job openings in the U.S.Employment for information security analysts — just one type of cybersecurity job – is projected to grow much faster than other occupations through 2031.

“These educators play a crucial role in preparing our nation’s students for cybersecurity careers, helping ensure that these students are empowered with the education and skills to navigate career pathways into the cybersecurity field,” said National Cyber Director Chris Inglis. “Their expertise and dedication are an inspiration to educators and cyber professionals everywhere as we seek to expand high-quality cybersecurity education, prepare students for good-paying job opportunities, and ensure that our nation’s cyber workforce has the best and brightest – from all backgrounds – contributing to our collective defense.”

Dougherty is the inaugural instructor of the Lakota Cyber Academy, where he has connected a highly technical, student-centered curriculum to strong recruitment and retention metrics. His program has grown to 200 students since launching in 2019, and these students have achieved impressive results in national competitions including National Cyber League and CyberStart America. Students in his program are currently employed in work-based learning positions in the banking and aviation sectors, among other industries.

Stubblefield is a Cyber Defense educator at Troy High School who served in the U.S. Navy for 21 years before beginning his teaching career. Over the past 12 years, he has coached 486 middle school students in CyberPatriot competitions and 327 elementary students through summer camps. Stubblefield has offered financial and other support to make his program accessible to students from disadvantaged and underrepresented backgrounds. His work with elementary and middle school programs has created a robust watershed of students prepared to enter the high school academic pathway in cybersecurity that he also developed.

Dougherty and Stubblefield were formally announced as the 2022 PCE awardees earlier today at the National Initiative for Cybersecurity’s kick-off event for Cybersecurity Career Awareness Week in Washington, DC. They, along with other recent award recipients, will be honored during the 2022 NICE K12 Cybersecurity Education Conference. The Presidential Cybersecurity Education Award is led by the U.S. Department of Education,in consultation with the White House Office of the National Cyber Director and the National Science Foundation.

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