About Us

BootUp is dedicated to empowering elementary teachers and students through computer science and creating equitable computer science programs in underrepresented and underserved communities. Since 2015, BootUp has worked with almost 477 elementary schools impacting over 150,000 students, providing in-person professional development, coaching, and resources that prepare teachers to facilitate coding, computational thinking, and computer science instruction. Students are inspired through creative and interactive lessons that allow them to explore their personal interests with code.

Teacher with Studentt

Our Mission

We prepare and empower teachers and implement elementary coding and computer science programs nationwide in order to reach ALL students, creating equitable access to 21st-century skills.

Kids smiling in a classroom

Our Vision

Ensuring ALL elementary students learn to code by empowering their teachers

Our Values

Integrity

Integrity

We strongly value and prioritize being honest and having strong principles for doing what we do. Integrity is consistently one of the first values we want to be known for as an organization and as individuals.

Equitable/Egalitarian

Equitable/Egalitarian

BootUp's successes over the years are a result of our ability to collaborate on a team with diverse backgrounds, expertise, opinions, perspectives and experiences.

Innovative

Innovative

We are constantly striving for innovative and creative solutions that assist with our overall mission and vision. This includes everything from our approach to professional learning to highly engaging interest-driven, project-based curricula.

Proven

Proven

Part of our success is because our approach is not only based on educational research, but from extensive feedback from a variety of sources. We actively seek out feedback that continues to refine what we do.

Flexible and Relevant

Flexible and Relevant

We believe that computer science education is not only growing at a rapid pace, but is iteratively changing over time. We try to stay flexible and relevant by keeping up-to-date on the latest research and practices in computer science education.

Inclusive and Welcoming Culture

Inclusive and Welcoming Culture

All of us at BootUp genuinely enjoy not only the work that we do, but who we work with. We come from varied backgrounds and cultures that are shared and embraced among the team.

Engaging and fun!

Engaging and fun!

Not only do we try and make the professional development and curriculum engaging and fun, but our work environment and collaborations, as well.

Simple and Iterative

Simple and Iterative

We don't like to make things overly complicated. By keeping things simple, we are able to focus on fine-tuning our approach over time in order to continuously improve what we do. This iterative process is similar to the Japanese concept of "kaizen ( 改善)," which encourages team members to think through and share opportunities for improvement.

Our Team

Our team is committed to expanding equitable access to computer science and coding. We are former public educators, creatives, and lifelong learners who are deeply engaged and passionate about what we do.
Clark Merkley

Clark Merkley

Executive Director

Get to Know Clark
Abby Funabiki

Abby Funabiki, MPA

Associate Executive Director

Get to Know Abby
Jared O'Leary

Jared O'Leary, PhD

Director of Education & Research

Get to Know Jared
Karen

Karen Melara

Marketing Manager

Get to Know Karen
McKay

McKay Perkins, MS

PD Facilitator

Get to Know McKay
Brenda

Brenda Bass

PD Facilitator

Get to Know Brenda
Laurie

Laurie Green

PD Facilitator

Get to Know Laurie
heather-min

Heather Cunningham

PD Facilitator

Get to Know Heather
Carlos Leon

Carlos Leon

PD Facilitator

Get To Know Carlos
Kelly

Kelly Powers

PD Facilitator

Get to Know Kelly
Michael

Michael Hanahan

Marketing Consultant

Get to Know Michael
Emilie Martinez

Emilie Martinez

Web Developer

Get to Know Emilie
Stacie

Stacie Mason, PhD

Research and Evaluation

Get to Know Stacie

Our Board of Directors

“What about students who never would be exposed to coding? It has to be a core subject and it has to be done in elementary school.” Ari Ioannides, Founder and Board Treasurer
ari

Ari Ioannides

Founder, Board Treasurer and Executive Director, Park City Institute

Get to Know Ari
todd

Todd Ullah, Ed.D

Board Chair and Vice President, National Education Foundation

Get to Know Todd
Lien Diaz

Lien Diaz

Board Vice Chair and Director of Educational Innovation and Leadership, Constellations Center for Equity in Computing at Georgia Tech

Get to Know Lien
david evans

David Evans

Board Secretary and Chief Relationship & Development Officer, Q Financial Design Workshops, LLC

Get to Know David
Allison Miller

Allison Miller

Senior Improvement Coach, Ed Direction

Get to Know Allison

Join Us!

Want to empower students through code? Check out one of our open positions.

View our open positions
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