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Students Get Hands-On with State of the Art Technology

May 22, 2005 – Elton Lewis, V.I. police commissioner, Monday called it a "special time" as about 70 students from Central High School mixed with Central High graduates at Carambola Beach Resort on Monday.
The students were in the Exhibitor Hall in the Mahogany Room at Carambola Beach Resort during theAssociation of Caribbean Commissioners of Police conference.
Some of the graduates from Central High the students met were Lewis, Joe Fergus, president of COMTek; Norma Pickard-Samuel, vice-president of COMTek; Ian Tomlison and Reginald Vigilante, co-founders of Omni System, a company headquartered in Vienna, Va., but with an office on St. Croix.
Twelfth grader Jacobi Simmons said the experience was teaching her, "Though, we are from the Virgin Islands, we don't have to limit ourselves."
She talked to Lewis who she said told her about the conference and what police commissioners were learning. She also talked to Fergus and she said she learned from him why the computers in the state-of-the-art cyber café set up in the exhibit hall were so much faster than the ones most people have at home. COMTek, is located in Chantilly, Va.,
Tomlinson said, "We want the students to see what you can do. It doesn't matter what your background is."
Sharon Prudoff, of the CHS Learning Media Center, was one of the staff accompanying the students. She said the experience for the students was "wonderful. It gives them exposure to what is real."
She said the event grew out of talk Fergus had given at Central High School on Friday. He told the students they needed to see the newest and best that technology had to offer.
Fergus has a history of helping out his alma mater. He donated 14 computers to Central five years ago that students are still using. He has donated another half dozen since then.
Prudoff said the visit would be especially beneficial to the ninth graders who are just starting to think about what they want to do with their lives.
The students were not from any certain class. They were just students who showed an interest in technology.
Fergus said in his opening remarks, "This is about your future. This is about competition. This is about understanding that you can have technology at your fingertips and you have the ability to make your own decisions."
As Lewis sent the students to wander through the exhibit room, he encouraged them to reach for the heights and also "to ask a lot of questions."
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