Archive for Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Technology audit results prompt second resignation

June 27, 2007

The Tonganoxie School District will be in search of a second technology staff member.

Technician Jim Moody resigned June 19, a week after technology director Carl Robison resigned his post.

Both resignations came after a June 11 board meeting when Tonganoxie resident Starla Jones, an information technology director for an area engineering firm, gave a presentation on a technology audit she conducted for the district.

During the audit, Jones discussed some of her perceived flaws with the department and how the department could improve. She also laid out a plan for which the district could improve its technology department.

Both Robison and Moody met with Superintendent Richard Erickson the day after the board meeting. Robison said the board meeting upset him greatly because he was not able to respond to the Jones' presentation. Robison resigned after meeting with Erickson.

Moody evaluated his situation for a week before he resigned.

"There didn't seem to be a future for me at the school district because when Carl gets replaced by the new administrator,r that person doesn't have to keep me on staff," Moody said. "I felt like it was a hostile work environment. And I was saddened to see Carl go. I felt the heart and soul of the school's technology went out."

Moody, who worked for the district less than two years, said he liked interacting with teachers and "had a good rapport with building administrators."

Moody, like Robison, said he welcomed the audit. But the presentation at the school board meeting was a different story.

"They were very biased comments and not professional auditor comments," Moody said. "No auditor I know of attacks a person."

In Jones' report, she spoke about the need for the district to move away from primarily using Macintosh computers because most people in the work force, save some careers, use PCs.

"The Tonganoxie school district just wasn't the place for a Macintosh tech," Moody said.

Erickson said Monday that the district was taking applications for its two technology positions.

As for an equipment update, Erickson said Macintosh equipment was moved last week to palettes behind Tonganoxie High School for disposal as part of an inventory check Jones is monitoring. Jones now is serving as a consultant to the district, Erickson said. According to Erickson, Jones used a device that cleared the computer's hard drives.

"I'm going to rely on her for the expertise and making recommendations as it relates to technology systems to stay up-to-date and prepare students for the 21st century," Erickson said.

Erickson said the equipment was outdated and, in some cases, included hand-me-downs from other school districts.

The Tonganoxie superintendent did say he debated making the computer equipment available for patrons to purchase, but then opted against it.

"This equipment is so old we didn't want to burden our patrons with outdated and useless equipment," Erickson said.

The technology audit itself cost the district $2,750, while Jones is being paid $80 an hour as a consultant.

Erickson said the total number of hours Jones will need to work for the district as a consultant still must be determined, but he said the district "would live within the limits of our technology budget."

"We just know that she did a very fine job with the technology audit and did that audit for a fraction of the cost that a lot of companies would do that for us," Erickson said.

Attempts to reach Jones for comment were unsuccessful.

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