After serving in the United States Navy for 21 years as a commander, teacher Robert “Allen” Stubblefield, Jr. found another way to give back to his country — increasing the cybersecurity awareness of students and inspiring the nation’s future cybersecurity workforce.
On Dec. 5, Stubblefield, a cyber defense educator at Troy High School in the Fullerton Joint Union High School District, attended the eighth annual NICE K12 Cybersecurity Education Conference in St. Louis, Missouri, where he was given the 2023 Presidential Cybersecurity Education Award.
Presented by U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona, the award recognizes teachers for their contributions and leadership in the field of cybersecurity. The award is bestowed annually to two teachers — one at the elementary levels and one at the secondary level.
Also recognized that day was Benjamin Dougherty, a teacher from Lakota West High School in West Chester Township, Ohio.
“Educators and instructors nationwide can look to Mr. Dougherty and Mr. Stubblefield as glowing examples of what it takes to inspire passion for cybersecurity in our students and equip them with the academic and technical skills sought out by today’s employers,” Secretary Cardona said. “The Department of Education recognizes that cybersecurity educators are essential to our efforts to build stronger pathways for students into well-paying jobs in a field that’s increasingly vital to our nation’s security and prosperity.”
The program also helps to raise awareness for cybersecurity occupations, for which there are currently more than 700,000 job openings in the country. Employment for information security analysts is projected to increase at a much faster rate than other occupations through 2031.
Over the past 12 years, Stubblefield has coached more than 800 elementary and middle school children through summer camps and CyberPatriot competitions. He has offered financial and other support to make his program accessible to students from disadvantaged and underrepresented backgrounds.
“This award is more of a team and program award,” the commander said. “Christian Nguyen and David Kim are huge parts of our cyber program. We are firm believers that we have the best and latest cybersecurity program in the U.S.”
You can find more information on the Presidential Cybersecurity Education Award here.