Students get a glimpse into IT field

NAUGATUCK — This school year has been a year of change for both those working and studying at Naugatuck High School as the $81 million renovate-to-new project draws to a close.

But not all of the changes made this year have been of blueprint and concrete.

In the fall, the school started the NHS Wizard IT Program. The pilot program allows for students to work hand-in-hand with the school’s Information Technology staff to fix electronics-related issues around the school. The program is open to any student who applies, has background knowledge in electronics, and has at least one free study period.

The program was created in hopes that it will provide students who are interested in a technology career with a true working experience in the field.

“The program is a good idea and a superb experience that allows for students to be involved in a workplace-like environment,” said technician Matt Kuhar, who facilitates the program with IT Systems Administrator Scott Roncarti. “[I] was pleasantly surprised to find out how competent the students are. I was expecting to have to train and teach more than I actually did.”

Recently, the student-workers helped the IT staff with a series of laptop-related malfunctions where the laptops were remembering the data of the previous user. To fix the problem, IT had to reclaim and completely reset the laptops.

Nicole Diaz, a junior, is one of the three student-workers in the program. Diaz, who is interested in studying computer science in college, described the program as a great learning experience.

“From working on my pre-known skills to learning complete new ones, I can say the program has really been great,” she said.

Diaz said she wanted to participate in the program to get a glimpse of the IT field.

“I was interested in the program because it would give me a sort of background in IT before I got too deep into something I might not even like,” she said. “I thought that the program would help me find myself in a better position for my future and I think it has.”

Jared Aponte is a Naugatuck High School student who interned at the Citizen’s News through the Experiential Learning Program.