Santaluces Community High School prepares students for careers in cybersecurity

Cybersecurity choice academy will debut in 2021-22 school year
Posted at 5:00 AM, Nov 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-24 06:05:39-05

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — Palm Beach County students have a new opportunity to learn job-ready skills in the rapidly growing field of cybersecurity.

A $750,000 grant from the Frederick A. DeLuca Foundation made it possible to create a cybersecurity choice academy at Santaluces Community High School next school year. Students from around the district can now apply.

Angelo Angione is the teacher who will oversee the program. He's been teaching computer courses for 15 years but never thought he'd be teaching cybersecurity.

"It's new, it's cutting edge," Angione said. "There's a lot, currently a demand for this job in the United States, so it's good to be able to provide this to students. Over the past few years, I've seen a demand in that area grow, a lot of companies and industries are asking for it."

Santaluces Community High School currently offers a cybersecurity course, but the grant will allow the school to expand that into a choice academy that can help students earn industry certifications before they graduate.

"If they get those certifications, it can help get some pretty good job opportunities for them," Angione said, adding that students can earn six industry certifications.

The School District of Palm Beach County said the academy is designed to provide knowledge and skills in computer and network security, security vulnerabilities, attack mechanisms and techniques, intrusion detection and prevention, risk identification, incidence response, access control, and recovery.

"We can get additional students from out of the area, they can choose to come here," Angione said of creating a choice academy. "That, in addition to the sequence of classes were going to offer, and then with the grant we get an abundance of new materials, computers, software, additional people coming to talk with us and co-teach."

Angione is excited to bring this program to his students.

"It's a long time coming," Angione said "We’ve been talking about it for two years now, so I'm glad that it's finally happening. If you are interested in learning more about cybersecurity and technology in general, we’ll be doing a lot of cool stuff here and we’ll be happy to have you."

The district said the three-year grant from the DeLuca Foundation will provide funding for the curriculum and also will fund two positions, one at Santaluces Community High School and one at the district level, to focus on diversity so that female students and students of color will be encouraged to look at cybersecurity as a career field. The Education Foundation of Palm Beach County helped secure the grant.

Cybersecurity is one of more than 300 choice and career academy programs across the School District of Palm Beach County. The deadline to apply for them for the 2021-22 school year is Jan. 29.

You need a 2.5 GPA to apply for the cybersecurity program.

For more information about choice programs across the School District of Palm Beach County, click here.

To learn more about the Frederick A. DeLuca Foundation, click here.