West Ashley High School senior Stephen Maddy was recently named the Trident Region’s Technology Champion of the Year.
Maddy will be recognized and awarded with a State Department of Education Office of Career and Technology Education certificate and a check for $250 at the S.C. Education Business Summit at the TD Convention Center in Greenville, South Carolina on June 26th He did not earn this award overnight; Maddy’s passion for computers began in middle school. “Teachers would make me mad, so I would break computers and then I would have to fix them.” This made him realize that he loved working with computers and could find a way to get along better with his teachers.
By the time he got to high school, Maddy was helping lots of teachers with their technology and computer issues in his free time. “I like being able to help teachers and share my knowledge with others.” During his sophomore year at West Ashley High, Sandra Pennekamp, the Career and Technology Education Department Chair, noticed Maddy’s hard work. She asked him if he would be interested in putting his skills to use and becoming a part of a Work-Based Learning class that dealt strictly with Information Technology (IT). Maddy was the first student in this class. Soon other students wanted to join the class, like sophomore Brain Hawkins, who is now Maddy’s intern. They have been an invaluable help this school year. Together, they install programs on computers; fix SMART Boards, repair teacher computers, ensure computers in the student labs are working properly, install printers, set up computers for testing, and many other things.
In 2014, Maddy worked as a summer intern with Charleston County School District’s Information Technology Department. They were so impressed with his abilities that he was hired as part of their Youth Apprentice program. Maddy worked closely with members of the district’s IT department to help set up all of the computers at Charleston County schools so that they were ready for the coming school year. As a senior, he is enrolled in Dual Credit classes at Trident Technical College.
Maddy is especially proud of the ticketing system that he helped create which keeps track of all needed computer and technology repairs in the building. Teachers fill out a form in Google Drive which then populates in an Excel sheet where Maddy and his intern complete the repairs in the order in which they are received.
Chad Vail, CCSD’s Work-Based Learning Partnerships Coordinator, has long been a supporter of Maddy, noticing his work ethic early on, and encouraged him to enter this competition. Maddy had to get three letters of recommendation and fill out an application in order to be considered for this honor. Maddy’s hard work paid off and he was named the Trident Region’s Technology Championship of the Year. He will be traveling to Greenville, SC on June 26, 2016 to attend the S.C. Education Business Summit to receive his award.
Story submitted by Donnie Newton, Public Relations Coordinator at West Ashley High School