Cyber Talk Radio: Cyber Patriots in San Antonio Schools

Bret Piatt, CTR Host and Arthur Celestin, Program Director at CyberPatriot and educator, joined by several of Arthur’s students talk about CyberPatriot and its impact on students’ career paths. - Week 53 of Cyber Talk Radio

Show Summary

This past Saturday, September 30, episode 53 of Cyber Talk Radio hit the air on 1200 WOAI and iHeartRadio streaming. I was joined by Arthur Celestin, the district CTE (career and technology education) coordinator for San Antonio’s Southwest ISD as well as three of his former students, Ricky Banda, Stephan Casas and Moises Quiroz.

In the first half of the show we introduce Arthur, who tells us the situation he inherited when he began work at Southwest ISD, where he transferred in from a career in technology. Joining Southwest in 2009, Arthur describes how he taught computing without computers. By 2010, however, students were already under their own initiative competing in Cyber Patriot. Arthur introduced the program in the school itself in fall 2011, offering students the opportunity to learn hacking and master the art of cyber security at school.

While Arthur showcased what he had done, Moises explained the impact that work and opportunity had had directly on himself. Indeed, in the first year of the program Moises taught himself Linux so he could compete. All of this meant that the school was well placed to achieve and in the 2012 competition, they came third in the nation.

Arthur then discussed in detail what this achievement enabled him to do. That year, Southwest ISD became the first school district in the country to offer middle school students the chance to compete in Cyber Patriot and develop this suite of skills.

In the second half of the show, Stephen and Ricky introduce themselves and we get to hear more of the backroom struggles involved in making the program a success. Stephan describes how Cyber Patriot transformed his experience of education: “Kids get to prove themselves with Cyber Patriot.” He explained how Arthur’s work exposed him to numerous opportunities.

The final thing we covered was the wider opportunities in the workforce for people with skills in cybersecurity, especially down here in San Antonio. Ricky explained that he had worked here for the U.S. government as well as Northrup Grumman, and now Rackspace, which were all opportunities he found in the cybersecurity world. Stephan explained the business that he and his partner are building in the same space. Both also elaborated on the impact learning cybersecurity had on their salaries and what that had enabled them to achieve.

To learn more about cybersecurity, listen to the full episode replay available here!

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Episode 54, October 7: [Managing Risk through Security and Compliance]

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