Jan. 13, 2004 – Ivanna Eudora Kean High School Principal Sharon McCollum-Rogers signed papers at a press conference on Tuesday officially accepting 29 desktop computers with accessories "transferred" to the school by the U.S. Coast Guard as a Partnership in Education — or PIE — initiative.
"This is absolutely wonderful," McCollum-Rogers said. "This is going to touch every student in the school."
Joining her for the ceremony were other school officials, members of the Coast Guard and the school's Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps., and Sen. Shawn-Michael Malone.
The donation, valued at nearly $75,000, includes a host of equipment: Pentium II and III PCs, modems, switches, cables, hard drives and other peripherals. Students will use the computer systems for math, reading and science programs, compliments of the Coast Guard Navigation Center and the Telecommunication Information System Command in Alexandria, Va.
JROTC Lt. Col. Dave Waller, U.S. Army Reserves, said the equipment became available as an indirect result of the U.S. war on terrorism. After the Coast Guard was placed under the new Department of Homeland Security, the service was required to update its computer systems, he said. And thanks to Executive Order 12999, federal agencies are now authorized to make direct "transfers" of excess automated resources to schools and not-for-profit organizations.
Waller learned about the availability of the computer equipment last November after meeting with Chief Warrant Officer Alvin Dalmida Jr., a Virgin Islander who coordinates the PIE program at the Coast Guard Navigation Center in Virginia.
In mid-December, the computers were almost given away to schools in Virginia instead after confusion arose regarding who would pay for shipping them to the territory. Waller then stepped forward, and the Eudora Kean JROTC used its funds to have the equipment sent to the high school. Ten days ago the shipment arrived.
Malone in a release issued later Tuesday cited his work with the Coast Guard in getting the computers for the school. He expressed thanks to Dalmida and Flavel Blyden Jr., another USCG officer from the territory, and to the local detachment commander, Lt. John Reinert, "for alerting my office about the computers and coordinating the delivery to the island, respectively."
Since meeting Dalmida, Waller has been able to tap into several Coast Guard resources, such as the Coast Guard Academy, scholarships and the PIE initiative. Eudora Kean is the only public school in the Virgin Islands that currently has two students enrolled at the academy — which has a rigorous admissions policy.
Petty Officer 1st Class Torin Zielinski of the Coast Guard's St. Thomas Marine Safety Detachment noted that the computers presented to Eudora Kean on Tuesday are newer than the ones in the detachment offices. "It's really nice to see this going to the school," he said.
Share your reaction to this news with other Source readers. Please include headline, your name, and the city and state/country or island where you reside.
Publisher's note : Like the St. John Source now? Find out how you can love us twice as much — and show your support for the islands' free and independent news voice … click here.