Gov. Asa Hutchinson announces winners of coding competition

Local News

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (News release) – After multiple rounds of competition on the regional and state levels, students from the Don Tyson School of Innovation in Springdale were named winners of Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s All-State Coding Competition. Due to COVID-19, Hutchinson announced the winners via a video.

As winners, James Cassady, Benjamin Easterling, and Lucas Kellar will receive 529 College Savings Plan scholarships totaling $2,000, each. Owen Bell, Julian Sanker, and Ganer Whitmire from Haas Hall Academy in Fayetteville placed second, and each will receive $1,000 scholarships deposited into 529 plans. The third-place team of Tyler Lacroix, Ethan Peck, and Addison Zheng from Cabot High School will each receive 529 College Savings Plan scholarships of $500. In addition to these individual scholarships, the schools that sponsored the winning teams will be awarded $10,000, $6,000, and $4,000, respectively, to support their computer science programs.

A total of 135 teams from across the state first participated in 15 competitions held regionally. The top 16 teams from the regional competitions, along with a team from last year’s first-place school, competed in the All-State Competition that was held virtually on May 2.

Verizon, a four-year sponsor, donated $50,000 to ARCodeKids to support the competition this year. The company announced it would also contribute $35,000 to sponsor next year’s competition, bringing Verizon’s five-year commitment to $225,000.00.

“We could not be more impressed with the talent shown in this year’s competition,” Dave Wengel, co-founder of ARCodeKids, said. “Once again Verizon has shown a commitment to support our state’s computer science education efforts, and these students are the real winners because of it.”

To learn more about Arkansas’ Computer Science Initiative, visit HERE.

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