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Archive for Monday, December 1, 2008

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Web masters: Students keep South’s online world up and running

December 1, 2008

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South Junior High School webmasters Samantha Board, eighth-grader, and freshman Andrew Stussie, along with freshman Megan Tungett, not pictured, share a variety of responsibilities such as uploading photographs from SJHS events and also updating the school’s homework calendar.

South Junior High School webmasters Samantha Board, eighth-grader, and freshman Andrew Stussie, along with freshman Megan Tungett, not pictured, share a variety of responsibilities such as uploading photographs from SJHS events and also updating the school’s homework calendar.

It’s a job professionals are paid tens of thousands of dollars to do in the real world. But free food and limited homework are sufficient for three South Junior High School students.

Samantha Board, Andrew Stussie and Megan Tunget are the student webmasters of the school’s Web site: schools.usd497.org/sjhs.

Once you get past the thunderous cougar roar that welcomes you to the school’s spirited homepage, the site gives students an outlet to catch up on current and past happenings at SJHS and a place to go when they forget their homework assignments.

“It’s pretty cool,” says Stussie, a ninth-grader. “I like our craftsmanship and our uniqueness I think we have over all the other schools.”

“We try to put ... our personality into it,” says Tunget, also a ninth-grader. “It’s our peers who are looking at it.”

The student webmasters get to skip out on one regular class for a year to update the site. There’s an application process the students go through before being handpicked each year by Marcia McPhail, the school’s information resource specialist who oversees the students’ work.

Their regular duties include taking pictures of school events and posting them, updating school calendars and finding other ways to engage fellow students. They also have responsibilities in the school library. But the students say the best part is that McPhail treats them to occasional meals for their hard work.

“It’s definitely a bonus to have no homework and get food,” says Board, a eighth-grader.

While they all seem to enjoy their role as webmasters, the students also realize they’re gaining knowledge that could prove beneficial when they enter the real ever-advancing technological world.

“It’s important for me to get as much experience as I can … to see what I want to do,” Tunget says.

Comments

compmd 6 years ago

When I was in high school we had something similar. For a little while, students were running web and mail servers. We ran SCO OpenServer and BSDI on a couple of regular Gateway boxes. If memory serves me right, the SCO box was a Pentium-90. Ultimately there were real IT staff members in charge, but they were mostly hands-off. Eventually the school decided they needed to find new ways to blow money and bought a Sun E450, which required them to hire two Solaris administrators, and cut the students out of the loop. The Solaris admins thought this was stupid to take away such a great learning experience from students, so they took the old servers and put them on a segregated part of the network (where we the students couldn't do damage) and let us keep working with them in a controlled environment. That's all gone today, and there hasn't been any sort of activity at that school that replaces the experience we had years ago. Kids, enjoy what you've got.

persevering_gal 6 years ago

When the internet was first beginning to take off, I started teaching myself web design. We [my middle school] didn't have any programs such as this to help myself and other students find a hobby and something of possible interest to do in the future. I'm really glad that South Junior High is allowing students to do this. It's a great way to have the students feel valued and appreciated, while not to mention, having the students developing great skills for their future.I love the site by the way! Great work!

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