DURHAM — Superintendent James Morse and Principal Suzanne Filippone are pleased to share that an Oyster River High School student has been recognized nationally for achievements in the field of computing.
Sophomore Kelly Zhang of Durham has received the Award for Aspirations in Computing, awarded by the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT). The award recognizes students in Grades 9-12 who identify as women, genderqueer, or non-binary, for their computing-related achievements. Zhang was named New Hampshire Affiliate winner and received Honorable Mention nationally.
Zhang formed a school group for students interested in computing, especially girls, with help from Computer Science Teacher Cathi Stetson. One member gave the group its name: The CodeRunners. Members code challenges for one another to solve and create games. CodeRunners will compete in their first hackathon in mid-May.
“From robotics competitions to volunteering as a computing camp counselor, I’ve loved STEM ever since I was little. I’m so grateful to be able to share what motivates me with others so we can learn from and build upon each other,” Zhang said. “I will use my knowledge and passion for STEM to better the world. Along the way, I hope I may inspire others to do the same.”
Zhang is considering ways that CodeRunners can give back to the community, such as creating websites for underfunded non-profits.
Zhang serves as Student Government class president and on the Student-Athlete Leadership Team. She competes on Oyster River’s cross-country and girls’ hockey teams.
“This award celebrates Kelly’s focus and drive, and her passion to make the world better,” said Superintendent Morse. “I ask the Oyster River community to join me in congratulating her on his achievement.”
The National Center for Women & Information Technology is a non-profit community of nearly 1,500 universities, companies, non-profits, and government organizations nationwide working to increase the influential and meaningful participation of girls and women in the field of computing, particularly in innovation and development.