The computer technology program at Harrison Central High is already recognized as among the best in the country. Now, that successful program is about to get even better.
BellSouth announced Monday that Harrison Central will receive a 250 thousand dollar grant.
The quarter million will be used to buy new computer equipment, pay for teacher training and help the school develop an advanced computer curriculum. Harrison Central's reputation for excellence in computer technology attracted BellSouth's recognition and money.
"On behalf of BellSouth, I would like to present this symbolic check of 250 thousand dollars. A quarter million dollars to Harrison Central High school. And we're delighted to do so," said Mississippi, BellSouth President, John McCullouch, at a school awards ceremony.
The high school students were delighted to accept the award. Especially, Justin Ladner, Matt Wilson and James Brechtel.
"Some people can fix cars, some people can paint, we do computers," said Ladner.
BellSouth noticed the web page the trio developed for Harrison Central. It's the kind of technology application and student skills the company wants to promote.
John McCullouch says the grant program is about developing futute leaders.
"Get those students interested in it so they can become leaders in technology. The more technology savvy everyone is, the better off we all are."
The state school superintendent applauds Harrison Central's advanced technology program. Dr. Richard Thompson says it's the kind of computer learning that's pushed Mississippi to the forefront of classroom technology.
"We're still struggling with some areas, but we're doing extremely well with technology. As I said, "Education Week's" latest report shows us at or above the national average in almost every category."
Students who understand the importance of computers in the classroom are quick to talk about future employment opportunities.
Justin Ladner has plans to open his own computer repair business in Saucier.
"The job market right now demands technology skills. A lot of people are looking for technology inclined people, whether you're going to work as a sales clerk somewhere or a computer programmer, you're going to need computer skills."