ucps logo

Archived Stories for Union County Public Schools

Search by Keyword

UCPS Depot buzzing with summer activity

Cody Helms, who has spent two years as an intern at the UCPS Technology Depot, starts a repair on a Chromebook. (Below) Cody Helms, far right, had been an intern for the past two years, but was recently hired as a desktop support engineer. He is pictured with other interns who have been working over the summer at the UCPS Depot. Pictured, from left, are, Alex Thomas, Tony Pappas, Selena Villarreal, Brandon Cercena, Chase Keller, Austin Chaney and Cody Helms.

Union County Public Schools classrooms may be empty of students who have left for the summer, but there is no summer break for UCPS Technology Services staff. They have a lengthy list of tasks to finish before students return to school.  

In addition to daily operational duties, an emphasis has been placed on repairing and updating Chromebooks currently in use throughout the district, and also provisioning Chromebooks for classroom use in grades three through five.

Emil Iglesias, senior systems engineer with Technology Services, said in the past several months, the Depot engineers have personally assessed more than 15,000 Chromebooks on location at the middle and high schools.

“During this time, repairs continued at the Depot and the Chromebooks that were received, were put back into the hands of the students in time for testing,” Iglesias said. “Since school ended, we have been working on a summer refresh project. All Chromebooks in the county are again cleaned and necessary repairs made so that the students have a 100 percent functional and clean Chromebook ready for the new school year.”

Since June 22, approximately 1,000 Chromebooks have been serviced by Depot engineers, with nine schools completed and devices shipped back to those schools.

“Also in this short timespan, more than 10,000 additional Chromebooks for the elementary schools have been received, inventoried and provisioned for use,” Iglesias said.

“Many people don’t realize the efforts and the skills of the Depot engineers, but these eight people are key players in the movement and upkeep of the approximately 35,000 Chromebooks throughout the county. All day, every day… eight engineers.”

Teacher devices are also repaired, as needed, in the Depot. Additionally, with the help of the UCPS Maintenance Department, the majority of Netbooks are being coll­ected from UCPS elementary schools.  

Internship leads to UCPS employment opportunity for CATA graduate

The amount of work necessary at the Depot has led to an opportunity for one recent UCPS graduate and several summer interns.

For the third consecutive summer, Technology Services has hired summer interns to assist with various tasks within the department.

This program has not only contributed to reducing the summer task load on Depot engineers, but has also cultivated interest in information technology (IT) and employment within the district itself.

Cody Helms, a Central Academy of Technology and Arts 2014 graduate and summer intern for two years, has recently accepted a position within Technology Services as a desktop support engineer.

“I wouldn’t have known half the information I currently know without the exposure to various tasks during my summer internships,” he said.

Under the supervision of various desktop support engineers throughout the past two summer internships, Cody said he expanded his IT knowledge relating to hardware and Chromebook repairs.  

While a student at CATA, Cody completed coursework associated with the school’s IT Academy. In addition to core classes, he took specialized classes in Networking and Computer Engineering.

He also had hands-on experience with CISCO routers and switches, in addition to troubleshooting and repairing devices.

Cody credits the summer internship and the academy at CATA with leading him to the IT job at the Depot. “Both have prepared me for my current position,” he said.  

Cody has scheduled his A+ Certification test, and will be attending Central Piedmont Community College in the fall, with a concentration in computer hardware.  

The A+ certification verifies that an individual can troubleshoot networking and security issues within operating systems such as Apple and Windows.

Written by: Becky Swiger - Instructional Technology Facilitator and Deb Bledsoe - UCPS Communications Coordinator
Posted: Jul 09, 2015 by Deb Bledsoe

Back to list of stories for Union County Public Schools