Since the start of the current school year nearly every Whitley County school district student has been learning virtually from home using school district issued Chromebooks for their instruction, and their instructors have been teaching virtually.
On Dec. 10, the Whitley County Board of Education recognized the team responsible for helping keep all this technology working by presenting the six members of the Whitley County School District Technology Department with the December Above and Beyond Award.
The board hands out the award on a nearly monthly basis to individuals or groups that have gone above and beyond the call of duty in their work for the school district and its students.
“Our technology department, I could not be prouder of,” Superintendent John Siler noted during Dec. 10 virtual board meeting, which was held via Zoom. “Our technology department has had a huge heavy lift to get us where we are at.”
When school started this year, the technology department spearheaded the change to Chromebooks for every student making sure those devises were ready for all students, and then worked with family resource centers to help establish Internet hot spots for students without home Internet service.
“They have not had any 40-hour weeks,” Siler added.
The six-person technology department includes: Chief Information Officer Kevin Anderson, Tammie Baird, Daniel Housman, Debbie Paul, Kellie Anderson and Theresa Hinkle.
During Thursday’s meeting, the board also approved a $6,279 change order to the Whitley County Middle School HVAC replacement and upgrade project.
Siler said that as the units were being installed, officials noted that the electrical breakers where the units were plugged in were about 40 years old, and recommended changing those to better protect the units against electrical surges. There is sufficient contingency funds leftover from the project to cover the added work.
Siler added that all the units and are up and running, which should provide an energy savings due to more energy efficient units.