Technology representatives gather at HHS


Mia Karr

The meeting.

Mia Karr, Print Editor-in-Chief

On April 7, the halls were abuzz with strange, professional-looking people with  badges. This legion of visitors was in fact a quite impressive gathering of technology directors from Virginia school divisions, broadband providers, Virginia Department of Education employees, the Virginia Secretary of Education, the Virginia Secretary of Technology, Senator Mark Obenshain, Delegate Tony Wilt and members of the press.

According to Principal Cynthia Prieto, technology directors from various Virginia counties, including our own director, Toni Sheets, meet regularly to discuss technology used in their schools and make sure there is state-wide consistency. This meeting, however, was slightly different.

“[Today’s meeting was about] broadband access; how we get our broadband, how we pay for it, how much we pay. They’ve been looking at comparisons on who’s paying how much,” Prieto said. “This is all about how we have funding and access equal through our state.”

Various broadband providers, such as Mid-Atlantic Broadband and Shentel, came to the meeting to discuss the issue of affordable broadband for schools.

In addition to the meeting, the visitors observed technology use in the classes of English teachers Peter Norment and Aaron Cosner and science teacher Adam Goble.

“[The visitors] were so impressed with our students and our classrooms and the stuff that was going on,” Prieto said. “…The Secretary of Education said to Dr. Kizner ‘I’ve not seen better.’”

Prieto believes that HHS was chosen as the location for this meeting because of its central location and library facility that easily allows for a large group of people, as well as for its technological prowess.

“We are doing some really good stuff with our technology, especially since January when we increased our access points and our megabytes,” Prieto said. “We are very proactive with what we’re doing technology-wise, so they wanted to be able to tour it and see people in action with it.”

Prieto felt that the meeting was productive.

“I think the conversation about the broadband was really good. I think the ideas being tossed out by the various divisions were good and others are going to jump on that bandwagon,” Prieto said. “I think the directors…left feeling that it had been a really, really powerful day.”