GAUTIER, MS (WLOX) - Gautier Elementary has been around for 80 years and it received a major tech upgrade just in time for the new school year.
The original building was built in 1937. The exterior reflects the era and its long history educating children. It's even on the National Register of Historic Places.
Remembering that history while modernizing the school is important to Pascagoula-Gautier Superintendent Wayne Rodolfich. He was pleased that all of the original windows and doors were preserved during the renovations.
"We've been able to keep the aesthetic pure, while we modernized the facility with upgrades to the lighting, plumbing, and all those other areas," said Rodolfich.
The focus on technology is clear right when you walk through the doors. In every classroom are computer wires that connect students and teachers to the world beyond these 80-year-old walls.
Cynthia Vaxter, a third-grade teacher, could not hold her excitement when she first saw the new upgrades.
"They upgraded the wireless networking, upgraded the infrastructure, and upgraded all of the technology; so we've come a long way from where we used to be," said Vaxter.
Other upgrades include two new computer labs, an iPad lab, a new cafeteria, and an updated library. Each student also has a Chromebook with the latest educational software.
Vaxter has been teaching at Gautier for 20 years, so she knows better than anyone what her students need to be the best they can be.
"If we don't progress with technology, we tend to lag behind the rest of the world...and so our children, I believe the children in the Pascagoula School District can compete with students anywhere in the world," said Vaxter.
By preserving the past and linking it with the present, teachers say these bright young minds will be prepared for a great future.