Our Mission

Our mission is simple: to spread the love for coding.

Our Beginnings

It all started in 2013 when a group of grade 5 students worked with one of our teachers to learn about coding in their class. With little direction, the students realized something many adults didn’t – that coding has limitless potential. It is much more than syntax to be memorized. It takes away the box and lets students create in new ways. Spurred by the students’ enthusiasm, Mindy, Heidi and Michelle formed the UNIS Hanoi Elementary Coding Club. The club’s organizers facilitated the school’s first Hour of Code, and eventually joined forces with Dan to host the Global Codeathon.

This is our fourth year of hosting the Codeathon, and we still feel the same excitement when we see both students and teachers become inspired to create, learn and communicate with code.


Meet the Team

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Michelle Matias

Michelle is the Elementary Technology Coordinator at UNIS Hanoi. She is  a certified Google Educator, a website design geek and an outdoor enthusiast.
Find her on Google+ and Twitter.

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Dan Slaughter

Dan teaches IB Economics, IB Business Management, and MYP Individual and Societies at Hanoi International School. He is an IB Examiner, a COETAIL graduate and cofounder of the Global Codeathon. He is married to Mindy Slaughter, an awesome Grade 4 teacher who loves making and coding.

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Mindy Slaughter

Mindy is a Grade 4 teacher at UNIS Hanoi. She is a PYP workshop leader, Global Codeathon founder, enthusiast of coding and creativity and mother of 2 awesome kids.

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Heidi Kay Essaiason

Heidi teaches Third Grade at Traverse Heights Elementary school and is excited to be leading the first Global Codeathon at this school. As a founding member of the Codeathon, she knows how exciting it can be to connect globally with other students and teachers to help share a love for coding. Seeing the motivation and creative problem solving that students apply when coding has been a great source of inspiration as an educator.

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Laurie Anastasio

Laurie is a third grade teacher and Technology Lead in San Marcos, CA, USA. She founded the school's leadership team of students who support their teachers and peers in Google Apps and coding projects. She is a Google Certified Trainer and loves to empower and challenge kids. She has two amazing adult sons and loves to travel with her family.