Celebrating CSD’s Talented and Driven Canyons District Tech Gurus
In today’s digital world, where technology touches most aspects of our lives, there’s a group of professionals working behind the scenes to keep computing systems, software, and hardware running smoothly. We’re talking about Information Technology professionals, some may call them wizards of the virtual realm, and here at the Canyons School District, we’re proud of the vital service they perform.
Many may think of IT and automatically imagine a help desk or tech support. But CSD’s team of 75 technologists do so much more for which we are grateful on IT Professionals Day, and every day.
“We are involved in just about every aspect of what employees or students do,” says Scot McCombs, CSD’s Director of Information Technology.
From technology on the buses in the morning, to paging systems in schools —even football scoreboards — IT is involved in a number of areas all across the District.
They also manage more than 120 software applications throughout the District, as well as a number of security measures. IT is deeply involved in security at our schools and more than just cyber security, the IT team manages door security, scheduling when doors are locked or opened, as well as the badge systems. They also oversee the security cameras in all District buildings.
“Our focus on security is making sure students and staff are protected both on site and off,” MCombs said. Those security measures extend to cyber security and protecting the District’s data, including personal information.
“That protection includes things like disaster recovery,” McCombs says, “there could be a fire in one of our buildings and that could impact the data. So we make sure if there is a disaster we’re able to recover that data and get back up and running.”
Another aspect of security covered by the IT department is filtering what can and cannot be accessed on District devices.
“That’s a tough role to be in but we do our best to make sure the Internet is safe and secure for students and staff,” McCombs says. “We take that role very seriously as well.”
Of course, the IT team also oversees a help desk for the thousands of District employees.
“Primarily it’s staff that our help desk focuses on, but like at back to school registration, we take about 15,000 calls a year from parents helping them get registered,” says McCombs.
Along with the 75 employees working in IT, the team welcomes interns throughout the year.
“I love the student intern program,” McCombs says, “it’s maybe my favorite part of what we do.
Our Board of Education has set the goal to make sure that every student is college- and career-ready. The fact that we bring students in and give them real world opportunities where they can build a resume, they can have their foot in the door in technology, I think it’s an incredible opportunity and one that I’m really proud of our team for doing and proud of the students for doing as well.”
Most interns join IT during the summer months but the team is also joined by one student from each of the District’s high schools during the school year.
Students interested in applying for an internship can keep an eye on the IT Internship Program here. Most applications are accepted in the Spring.
“The advice that I would give a student is to try out lots of different things,” says McCombs. “Try on lots of different things and see how it fits. See what they are passionate about and then go after something that they’re passionate about.”
The bottom line for McCombs is everyone who works within the IT department is passionate about their work.
“The members of the team that I get to work with really do care about the people and the students,” McCombs says. “They don’t have teaching certificates but I really do consider them to be educators. They are here because they care about education, they care about students, they care about the staff and want to make a difference in their lives.”
We celebrate our hardworking IT team on National IT Professionals Day and every day. You can learn more about the department and their work in this Connect Canyons podcast episode.