Have you wondered what room A-8 is? The mystery room across from the cafeteria that no student has ever entered? The one that is always locked with a keypad for people with special access to get in to? We were given the lucky chance to be able to see the inside of A-8. Not many staff members, let alone students, get to enter the “lair”. After going through the retinal eye scan, fingerprint, and ID scan, we were finally granted access to take a first-hand look at the classified room.
This room is the District Technology Office. The 10 by 20-foot room contains so much to see. You walk in and feel immediately transported into a spy movie. There is a massive wall that reaches from the floor to the ceiling with wires, buttons and lights, and all sorts of gadgets. An outsider would look at this wall and be completely overwhelmed, but to the special people who work inside, it’s just another day in the office. These important people have many jobs. Some of their responsibilities are identifying issues in hardware, updating software in the machines, and controlling the WiFi access.
We had a chance to chat with Mr. McDermitt, the Director of the District Technology’s Office, and asked him a couple of questions about what goes on in the office.
What are the main purposes of the room?
The District Technology office in PPBHS is the hub of all technology in the district, called the “Main Distribution Frame”. Point Pleasant isn’t the only district that we work in, we also are the technology help in Bayhead schools and the insurance policy for Lavalette schools. Every other school in the district has mini technology offices. Even though the schools could be miles away from the hub at the high school, there are no delay differences in the WiFi connections.
What are the ways staff can get in contact with you if they have technical issues?
A program was created around 12 years ago by Mr. Gattuso. It’s a system called ETicket. This lets any staff in the district send a trouble ticket that will alert the technology office right away.
Does it ever get super busy or overwhelming?
Our busiest time of year is the summertime, believe it or not, we have to deal with all the Chromebooks. The chaos comes in waves but the beginning of the school it’s super busy.
We just spend most of our downtime watching and monitoring the district’s screens.
There are many faces behind the screens in this office.
First, we met Mr. Kevin Kalin who is the all-technical support. He also monitors the ETicket system that the staff sends in help requests constantly from all over the district.
Next, Mr. Enzo Martino also works with every school in the district resolving ETickets and providing all technical support.
Mr. Jeremy Sellers deals with high-level hardware. He is in charge of all the firewalls and routers. He is the district’s content filter.
Mrs. Janet Brannick is the System Liaison. She is responsible for much of the state reporting and maintains Genesis. All of the teachers rely on Mrs. Brannick for answering any questions they have about Genesis and its programs.
Lastly, we got to talk with Mr. Kevin McDermitt. He is in charge of sipping coffee and listening to 80’s rock music….. just kidding! Mr. McDermitt is not only the Director of the District Technology Office, but he is also the Supervisor of the Computer Science Department, Business Department, and of the Media Center. He is also in charge of evaluating staff in all these departments. Finally, he manages the department’s technology budget.
For a secret room, there is quite a bit of action that happens behind those walls. Mr. McDermitt provided us with an inside scoop into the responsibilities and actions in the district technology office. Next time you are passing by the cafeteria hallway, make sure to give a little wave to the camera that says “I can see you” and say “Hi” to Mr. McDermitt and his technology team.