Allen Didier/Courtesy photo
BY MAIRE O’NEILL
Los Alamos High School computer science teacher Allen Didier has been selected by the Public Education as one of 21 New Mexico classroom teachers who are State Ambassadors for the 2021-2022 academic year.
Didier is in his fifth year of teaching at LAHS and previously taught for 18 years at Jemez Valley High School. He teaches AP Computer Sciences – Programming, Computer Maintenance & Repair, Computer Graphics & Design – 3D Modeling, Computer Game Design and Introduction to Computer Science.
The PED ambassador program, which started four years ago, is designed to give educators a voice in the state’s public education programming and initiative and supports a vibrant educator ecosystem. Michelle Lujan Grisham.
“I’d like to personally welcome these talented, committed educators to the State Ambassadors program and thank them for the opportunity to tap into their expertise for new ideas to continue improving public education in New Mexico,” PED Secretary Designate Kurt Steinhaus said in a PED news release.
Didier submitted an application in April to join the program which is for solutions-oriented level II or level III classroom teachers who want to advance their profession by learning about state policy, advocating for teacher growth opportunities and keeping the teacher pipeline filled with highly qualified professionals. He participated in a virtual interview last month. This year’s cohort of ambassadors will focus its efforts on strengthening the teacher pipeline and providing insight on how best to help keep teachers in the classroom.
During the coming months Didier and the other ambassadors will meet with stakeholders from across the state and work to lift up the teaching profession through awareness campaigns and by supporting rising educators, the news release states.
Didier is very passionate about his teaching career.
“I love teaching computer science because it’s a new, always-changing, great career field thing to teach. I really like that I can teach both college prep students the programming and computer science but I can also appeal to the vo-tech students with computer maintenance and repair. The game design and 3D modeling even bridge vo-tech and college prep. I really like that I can find something that will appeal to a wide variety of students,” Didier told the Los Alamos Reporter.
The class the draws the most participation is Intro to Computer Science but the AP Computer Science class attracts a lot of interest.
“The AP Computer Science is a great class that’s been around a long time and is a really good programming college prep class. One that I have added that I think the kids really like is the Computer Maintenance & Repair class which is your vo-tech/IT-tech kind of class where students learn how to tear apart a computer and put it back together and make it work,” he said.
Didier is married to Barranca Elementary School third grade teacher Angela Hartman and his daughter Kathryn is a fifth grader there. The family lives in Jemez Springs.