Teacher Spotlight: Mr. Jayakumar aka “Mr. J”

Unraveling the codes to computer programming

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Teacher Spotlight: Mr. Jayakumar aka “Mr. J”

Brianna Medeiros, Associate Editor

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Abington High School recently added a computer science class that introduces students to the world of computer programming, and Mr. Jayakumar is its teacher. This is Mr. “J’s” second year teaching at AHS, and he is excited to introduce this subject to the school. “(Computer Science is) a field where students can see the results of their effort in a relatively fast, fun and practical way,” said Mr. J during a recent interview. Students learn to write “code” that creates websites and games. “Students learn all the basic elements and then get to practice designing their own working creations,” said Mr. J.

I’ve been fortunate to be able to combine the two interests together by teaching a computer science class.”

— Mr. Jayakumar

Mr. J’s education helped prepare him to teach this class and as well as the mathematics classes he teaches at AHS and at the Frolio Middle School. He attended Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh,   majoring in computer science. Carnegie Mellon is also where Randy Pausch taught computer science. Pausch, is known for his inspiring “Last Lecture,” delivered not long before he died of pancreatic cancer at age 47 in 2008. Mr. J attended Carnegie Mellon while Pausch was teaching there, but unfortunately did not have him for any classes.

Mr. J grew up in Pittsburgh where he attended Montour High School. In addition to playing soccer and being a member of the math team, Mr. J was also a peer tutor. It was then that he first became interested in teaching.

In addition to computer science class, Mr. J teaches Algebra II & Trigonometry at the high school and Grade 7 math at the Frolio. He says he enjoys teaching computer science the most. And, given the opportunity, he would like to introduce a coding class at the middle school so the students could get early exposure to it.

Mr. J became interested in computers at an early age. “I started using my family’s PC when I was about 5-years-old, and was amazed by everything it could do.  Ever since then, I’ve been fascinated by computers and have always enjoyed exploring how they work,” said Mr. J. They say that if you enjoy what you do, then you have found success. Mr. J is successful because he enjoys teaching and finds it fulfilling compared to software engineering. Although he does enjoy both.  “This year I’ve been fortunate to be able to combine the two interests together by teaching a computer science class.”

In his spare time Mr. J enjoys finding new shows on Netflix and Amazon Prime just like so many of us. He is also a big sports fan, especially baseball, hockey and football, and he is currently teaching himself the guitar.

Abington is lucky to have Mr. J sharing his passion and knowledge in school every day.