The Information Technology Academy
Kathleen Johnson has been at Springdale High School for 18 years. She is one of the original people who brought the Information Technology Academy to life after the split between Springdale and Har Ber High School.
The IT Academy was formed after SHS decided to take a more technological approach to learning. Along with learning about technology, student are also exposed to the business side of the IT industry. Local IT executives expressed the need for more people in the IT industry and encouraged the high school to start an IT program.
Students who join the IT of the Academy should be able to create and manage projects. Students will be able to learn these skills through basic programs such as Java, taking courses such as Computer Science A and B or by taking more advanced classes like AP Computer Science.
Another route students are able to take through the IT side of the academy is Cyber Security. By taking the Cyber Security route, students will learn how to protect a small computer network, meaning student will protect anywhere from 1,000-1500 administration accounts. To learn, students will use programs like Cisco and TestOut and participate in Hackathons, going to places like J.B. Hunt and coming up with new solutions to real world problems. By joining the SHS Cyberpatriot Team, students will learn how to detect network vulnerabilities, this determines what employees within companies should have access to certain information and which ones should not, all while competing with students in the locally and statewide.
Through these experiences Mrs. Johnson believes that it is okay not to know everything and it’s okay to continue learning. Through her own experiences she motivates students to know the same because as Mrs. Johnson said in the industry of technology they want to know that you have gone above and beyond.
Shannon Green has been with the IT Academy for five years and currently teaches Entrepreneurship, Supply Chain Management, Computerized Business Applications and IB Business Management. Mrs. Green hopes that students on the business side of the academy have a well rounded view of the basic operations of business.
With knowledge about business, Mrs. Green hopes that it will allow students an easier opportunity to pursue a specific career in business after high school. Students should excel in leadership and analytical skills after leaving the program, as these are very important traits that potential employer, such as Tyson and Walmart, might look for.
One of the perks of being in the IT & Business Academy is students get to work with directly with companies like Walmart and Tyson. Juniors in academy will have the opportunity to job shadow Tyson employees during the fall and the spring at the downtown Springdale location while seniors have the opportunity to be mentored by Walmart employees throughout their senior year.
One of Mrs. Green’s favorite things about the IT Academy is hearing success stories. She further explains that just last year the Armando and Gamma Villa received jobs at the Walmart David Glass Technology Center through their mentor. They now work on Field Support team for Walmart Corporate and are able to attend college at the same time. Mrs. Green’s encourages students is to push themselves, try new things, and to build relationships with new friends and teachers because you never know where you will end up.