First Name

Paul

Last Name

Johnson

Bio

I started a cybersecurity class and competition team four years ago which I currently teach and coach at Design 39 Campus, Oak Valley Middle School and Del Norte High School. I currently have 90 students, including 32 young women. We compete in cybersecurity competitions including: The CyberPatriot National Youth Cyber Education Program, which has 5,600 teams this year across the U.S., Canada, and 5 other countries, where the National Finals are held at the Hyatt Regency in Baltimore, MD; The SoCal CyberCup held at UCSD, and; The California Cyber Innovation Challenge held at Cal Poly San Louis Obispo. The first year that Oak Valley competed in CyberPatriot they won the National Championship out of 460 middle school teams. The team of 5 included 2 young women. In April I had teams at the National Finals place 2nd and 3rd nationally out of 600 middle school teams and 5th nationally out of 2,200 high school teams and each of these teams has included young women. We recently swept the CyberDay LA competition against the top competitors in the country, including the current National Champions. We took 1st place in the Nationals Division, 1st and 2nd place in the Advanced High School Division, and for the third straight year, 1st, 2nd and 3rd place in the Advanced Middle School Division. Last March we won first place in both the middle school and high school divisions at the SoCal CyberCup and we received the award from San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer. I worked with California Governor Jerry Brown’s office planning the California Cyber Innovation Challenge by participating on the Leaders team and the Industry Outreach team. Winning the SoCal CyberCup qualified us to attend the California Cyber Innovation Challenge where one of our all-girls team placed 3rd overall and another team took 2nd in the CyberPatriot images. The digital forensics portion captivated the students by simulating real-life crime scene forensics and gave them insight into another exciting career opportunity. This was judged by judges in the legal profession and digital forensics professionals. My students and I have participated in several television news interview segments on KUSI-TV and XETV television stations and we’ve participated in several Union Tribune radio talk show programs, including several all-girl segments, promoting cybersecurity and competitions and encouraging young women to participate in the competitions. I have helped 6 other schools form their own cybersecurity competition teams and my students have started teaching cybersecurity to elementary school students. One of my all-girls teams was featured in the Team Spotlight in the Air Force Association’s CyberSentinel newsletter. We were recently recognized by the International Systems Security Association (ISSA) during their awards banquet. We were the very first middle school and high school students to be recognized by this 30-year-old association. My students are routinely sought out by companies such as Northrop Grumman for internships as they've found that my students can immediately start making significant contributions on day one. We have received multiple certificates of merit from California Assemblymember Brian Maienschein and District Representative for Senator Joel Anderson. We were hosted in Washington, DC, by California Congressman Scott Peters. I formed a non-profit corporation, CyberAegis Team, Inc. to more easily procure equipment such as servers and networking equipment to provide students hands-on experience. I was a panelist at the US News STEM Solutions Conference breakout session: “Lessons from Superb STEM Mentors”. I received a Guardian Angel of Cyber award from the National Defense Industrial Association. My teams and I were featured in an article in Northrop Grumman’s Circuit Magazine, and I received an award from Northrop Grumman: “Your engagement mentoring CyberPatriot teams truly makes a difference in closing a global skills gap and developing the next generation of cyber defenders; more importantly, you're making a difference in these children's lives by inspiring them to seek academics and careers in cyber/STEM.” From my students: The class and competition provide us with new opportunities and real-life skills. We've gained confidence in technology and feel inspired to aim for a career in this field. We are learning leadership, grit and determination, collaboration, team spirit, how to work as a team to excel in competitions and to make smarter decisions in our high-tech world. We have grown as people. We now want to pursue a major in this fun, exciting and fascinating field. This experience has made a great impact on our future careers and will help us for a lifetime.