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Staff Spotlight: GISD Technology
Every August when Georgetown ISD students return to school, they are met with campuses equipped with technology devices. Teachers return to TV monitors in their classrooms, staff is prepared with laptops to take on the day, and the overall educational experience is enhanced with technological elements.
So, how does all of this happen? It takes a strong team of technology support staff and a summer filled with never-ending projects.
“Our summer work starts before the students are even dismissed in May,” GISD Technology Support Manager Lynn DiSanto said. “We have roughly 11,000 student devices that we have to clean, update, and get ready for the coming year.”
This summer alone, over 1,900 chromebooks and laptops were repaired, 7,000 device screens were replaced, and roughly 20 major projects were completed by the GISD technology team. And that was all done while managing the staff devices that continued to be used over the break.
“Even though the students are out during the summer, there are still staff members that need support,” GISD Technology Specialist Demetrius Willis said. “Teachers come back early, staff laptops need to be distributed, and we have to be prepared to step in and help at professional learning and other summer events.”
One of the biggest projects the technology team takes on over the summer – and must maintain during the school year – is ensuring that every student has a device in hand. This is due to the district’s 1:1 initiative that launched in 2020, which was critical in overseeing that every student had access to a device at home during the pandemic.
“Our enrollment continues to absolutely explode, so we have to constantly plan ahead to be able to accurately equip all of our students with devices,” GISD Technology Specialist Daniel Tuttle said. “And then, there are things you can’t prepare for…the craziness is unavoidable.”
With technology comes technology issues, which are especially frequent during the start of the school year. Between small system errors, connectivity problems, the classic “We are unable to log you in” pop-ups and more, the tech team must remain on standby.
“This work requires team members that are willing to spread out and handle multiple campuses,” Willis said. “It can be hectic and overwhelming, but that’s why we hold each other up and make ourselves flexible.”
“We have a really great team where anyone can kind of fit in anywhere, so we use that to our advantage,” Tuttle said. “We come together to make transitions for teachers and students as smooth as possible.”
One of the more fun projects that happens over the summer is the hiring of student technology summer helpers. Students come in and work in the tech department for the summer, where they learn new skills and get their hands on impactful projects.
“Our summer helpers leave here with skill sets that a lot of companies really seek out,” DiSanto said. “One of our former helpers now works for the FBI, and one found their place as a Georgetown High School Biology teacher.”
From fun summer projects to an unpredictable surplus of device issues, the GISD tech team’s work is anything but dull. Through the massive growth that we have seen both in technological advancements and enrollment numbers, this team stays busy through every season to take care of the people of GISD.