SC governor recognizes Columbia High School computer science program

COLUMBIA, SC (WOLO) –Governor Henry McMaster would be the first to admit that computer knowledge is not his strongest skillset.

However on Wednesday, he met with students that are excelling in that very area at Columbia High School. He commended them for their hard work and participation in a new pilot coding program.

“Character, leadership, integrity,” said Robert Craig Washington, Columbia High School principal.

That is how Columbia High School’s Principal describes his school’s JROTC students. Thirty of them are involved in a pilot program involving military cyber security.

“This is a really big deal for Columbia High School to be a part of this and representing our state,” said Molly Spearman, South Carolina state superintendent.

Spearman quoted a recent Code.org report that ranked South Carolina as tied for first in the nation for computer science education.

“This is something our people can do. They take to it like ducks to water,” said Gov. McMaster. “It’s a good thing because this is a major military state.”

The governor says that military cyber security is an important job for the next generation.

“We are putting a lot of emphasis into data, coding, the Internet and all that is involved in that,” McMaster said. “It is a dangerous world and I want to commend all these young people.”

It can also land these students a computer science job with an average salary of $77,000, according to US labor statistics.

“These are major paying jobs. It’s going to open up doors for them to be successful at the university level if they choose to,” Principal Washington said. “If they decide to go into the military, there are great opportunities there as well.”

Columbia High School has a CS for All program meant to teach computer science to underrepresented students. These students possess a valuable skillset for the future of South Carolina.

“I bet they’re not many of us standing up here that can do what they’re doing over there right now or even understand the terminology,” the governor said.

“It’s very important that we engage and give them the skills and tools necessary to help in that regard,” concluded Richland One superintendent Dr. Craig Witherspoon.

Categories: Local News, Richland