By GRAYSON LEE CAVALIERE
Rutherford County Schools
It has been almost a year since students at LaVergne Middle School began their journey as part of the Student Tech Crew. Now, they’ve received certification as part of the Dell Certification program.
Students completed a collective assessment over what they learned — disassembling and reassembling computers and troubleshooting computer issues.
“It was kind of cool seeing this group in action,” said Travis Diate, STEM teacher at LaVergne Middle and leader of the Tech Crew. “Even in other classes, teachers
were telling me that when they have computer problems the students would say ‘oh, you should try X, Y and Z.’ They are picking up those skills in my course.”
For the eight students who completed their certification, Diate believes they will benefit from what they achieved in the coursework.
“I think it will open a lot of job opportunities,” Tahj Teshale said, an eighth grader at LaVergne Middle. “It could get me to different kinds of schools, like tech
schools. They will see I have a Dell certification.”
Students who earned their certificate will have the opportunity to continue studying computer repair in high school. For students who are interested in careers in
technology, the certificate is a valuable one.
“A few know they are going the tech route, and they are looking at other certificates. So, I’ve guided them towards Microsoft, and Google,” Diate said. “They have
looked at the building and creating side of things, now they’re looking at the brain side — coding etc. Others, I saw this helping a lot of my kids, just learning how to utilize the resources they have at hand.”
“I don’t know where my career will go,” Zeidi Mende said, an eighth grader at LaVergne Middle School. “I’m trying to do something in engineering, you know, with computer
The LMS Tech Crew is not just earning a certification. Diate’s hope is for students to assist the school in technical support areas, putting those skills into practice.
“We utilized these students who got their certifications quite a lot. They helped us with laptop collection, for example. We can put a lot of trust into them. But
I see it growing and I’d love to have a quicker timeline. I currently have 16 kids signed up for next year. I’d love to have a middle school tech area for them. I see what my kids can do, and they’ve really grown a lot.”