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MICHAEL PEDERSEN:

FOUNDER & CEO,
M.A. Intelligence Studies, B.S. Education and Training

Michael has had a passion for STE(A)M initiatives since his formative years, taking 1st place at the Science Olympiad in Jr. High and AP courses in Chemistry and Calculus. His passions for both science and mathematics led to his co-founding of Kumon in O'Fallon in 2011 with his wife Michelle. Michael's primary employment sees him interpreting strategy, architecture, and engineering solutions for the Department of Defense; designing future data centers and integration of Geo-Spatial solutions. He has taken additional efforts to complete certifications in AWS, SAFe Agilist, CompTia Cloud+, and Security+. 

Michael brings a wealth of education to the position with a variety of degrees. His primary degree is a Bachelors of Science from SIUC in Education and Training, with a focus on Curriculum and Design. He also holds a Masters in Intelligence Studies from American Military University,  additional degrees are in Logistics, Human Resource Management, and Applied Sciences. His MBA is scheduled for completion in 2017. 

Additionally, Michael networks religiously, constantly looking to expand his contacts and knowledge base. He collaborates with GlobalHack, LaunchCode, Code until Dawn, Kumon, area STE(A)M initiatives, and District 90 to expand his acumen of education and developing computing trends. He is a member of the Chamber of Commerce, supports the Moose Lodge #2608, American Legion and VFW. Michael and his wife Michelle are former foster parents, raising two girls Chasity and Mariyah, adopting them the spring of 2012 and now adopting the girls' brother, Deveon. In his free time plays golf, although not very well, and enjoys camping.

*To contact Mike, email at mike@juniorcodeacademy.com.

KENN JEWELL:

Chief Technology Officer,               B.S. Information System Technology

Kenn has actively worked in the IT industry for over 15 years and with it, brings along vast amounts of experience and talent to the program. His primary degree is a Bachelors in Information Technology from Western Governors University, with a focus on IT security.  He also holds a degree from the Community College of the Air Force in Information Systems Technology. Additionally, he has obtained his Security+, Project+, various Microsoft and Cisco certifications, and has recent experience with Amazon Web Services. Kenn recently started his MBA in IT Management this past Summer.

Kenn is in the Air Force Reserves part time working in the Cyber Operations field and will continue to bring his military experience back home here at the Junior Code Academy.  His systems development and strategic initiatives will help grow our e-commerce, social media, technical culture, as well as driving SEO efforts and content management.

When Kenn is not off playing G.I. Joe somewhere in the world, he works with the Military Cyber Professionals Association-St. Louis Chapter and attends coding and technology events locally.

*To contact Kenn, email at kenn@juniorcodeacademy.com.

 

TERRION KIRKWOOD:

Adjunct Instructor, B.S.Interactive Media & Web Design

Terrion Kirkwood is  a recent graduate from Lindenwood University Belleville where he earned a Bachelor's  of Science degree in Interactive Media & Web Design. He is an avid volunteer in  the community and has worked with children in District 118. Along with expertise in a variety of programs, he is experienced with HTML and CSS. His interest range from graphic design to interactive mediums such as film and games. Terrion is a life long student and enjoys learning new things and differing perspectives.                               

*To contact Terrion, email terrion@juniorcodeacademy.com

GRANT STEINER:

Adjunct Instructor, Southern Illinois University Student

Grant Steiner is a sophomore mechanical engineering student at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, with a minor in computer science and mathematics. He has experience using C++, Java, and Python programming languages, as well as using the Linux terminal. His interests include robotics and bash scripting. Grant has recently taken on an internship at Emerson Labs and has the opprotunity to engage his coding skills developing scripts and algorithms in Python.             *To contact Grant,  email at grant@juniorcodeacademy.com.

CHASITY SMITH-PEDERSEN:

Co-FOUNDER and Jr. Instructor

Chasity, 15 is an instrumental reason the Junior Code Academy was founded in 2015. In working through a coding class together with her dad,  she came up with the idea to share this with other kids her age.  She and her dad reached out to others and created curriculum that was both fun and engaging for students her age.  She has since competed in several hack-a-thons, as a coding peer mentor, instructs, helps at outreach events, and in an advocate for coding in her school and community. Her skills have expanded to include Blockly, Python, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Java, and Basalmiq.
In her free time Chasity is involved in Girl Scouts, her youth group, volunteers at the VFW and American Legion and enjoys reading and spending time with her dogs Norah and Pompeii.                                     

To contact Chasity, email at info@juniorcodeacademy.com.

JOAN KIRTLEY:

Instructor,           A.A. Arts

Joan Kirtley received an Associates of Arts Degree from Southwestern Illinois College and has worked in the education field for over 10 years.  Her studies have included classes in HTML and Computer Information Systems.  Her current positions are library management and RTI support.  Joan is involved in her community as well, serving as an area coordinator for Community Helpings Produce Coop, also active in her church.  She loves working with youth & feels coding skills are a must for today’s youth.                            

*To contact Joan, email at joan@juniorcodeacademy.com.

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JANET SWEET: Instructor,             B.S. Accounting

Janet has a BS in Accounting from MacMurray College in Jacksonville, IL. She has worked as an accountant and accounting manager for companies including Apex Oil, Deaconess Hospital, Sparta Community Hospital, and Magnum Technologies (A GE company). Currently, she works part time as a class room assistant in the special education department for Edwardsville School Dist.#7

As a mother to two adult children, two high school children and two middle school children, with very little free time.  She spends most evenings helping her children with homework,earning high school geometry and algebra.                                               

*To contact Janet, email at janet@juniorcodeacademy.com.

 

KYLE SYKES:

Adjunct Instructor,               Ph.D. and B.S. in Mathematics

Kyle Sykes is currently a Data Scientist that works for the federal government.  He graduated in May 2016 from Saint Louis University with a Ph.D. in Mathematics and he uses Python in his work everyday to analyze and visualize business processes.  He also uses Python at home for a variety of personal projects, including automation and experimenting with Raspberry Pi’s.  Kyle has an undergraduate degree in Mathematics Education and enjoys working with kids.  He has volunteered for several years at a local math circle teaching unique math subjects to middle school students. He is excited to teach Python to JCA students.     

*To contact Kyle, email kyle2@juniorcodeacademy.com

KYLE NOLAND:

Adjunct Instructor,           M.S. and B.S.  Computer Science

Kyle Noland is a Software Engineer and has worked in the technology sector since 2009. He graduated with honors from the University of Illinois Springfield with a B.S. in Computer Science and later M.S. in Computer Science. During his time as an undergraduate student at UIS, he was named as the Computer Science Class Marshall and was given the Outstanding On-Campus Computer Science Student Honor. Upon his graduation, Kyle became a member of UIS' faculty as an Adjunct Instructor where he has taught a variety of courses including Software Engineering Capstone and Introduction to Database Systems. His previous research includes the Raspberry Pi in Higher Education and Telepresence Robotics. Kyle's current research interests include robotics, mobile development, and information security. Kyle currently works as a Software Engineer for NJVC, LLC.            

*To contact Kyle, email at kyle@juniorcodeacademy.com.

JUSTIN HAQUE:

Adjunct Instructor, Southern Illinois University Student

Justin Haque is a second year student at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. He is studying to become a computer engineer and codes in Java and JavaFX.  Justin also tutors at Kumon in mathematics. In his free time, he enjoys playing guitar and piano.                               

*To contact Justin, email at justin@juniorcodeacademy.com.