TASD provided with $20,000 worth of computer equipment from former resident

A former Tyrone Area student, Bob Serbara, has provided the district with $20,000 in computer equipment through a matching grant program offered by his company, IBM.
“(In 2002) I decided I wanted to use the IBM K-12 matching grant program for the benefit of Tyrone Area,” said Serbara. “It’s a great program that benefits qualifying institutions where IBM matches donations made by their employees in order to provide new equipment for school use.
“After some consideration I decided to contact the Tyrone Area High School to see if the district might be interested in some new systems that could address an outstanding need,” said Serbara.
He explained he had wanted to do something for the district since he spent part of his youth attending school at Adams Elementary from 1969 to 1976. Serbara moved out of the district and graduated elsewhere but never forgot about his time in the Tyrone area. His mother still lives in Warriors Mark and he has other relatives in the area. Serbara still travels back to the area on a regular basis.
Serbara originally contacted a former classmate, Steve Everhart, a Tyrone Area English teacher, about the idea. Everhart then referred him to Vicki Aults who at the time was the technology coordinator in the district. Serbara also contacted Superintendent Dr. William N. Miller about the idea via email.
“It was decided the best fit for the donation was the mobile computer area,” said Serbara. “I was able to obtain 10 new IBM thinkpads which would begin to make up the foundation of the mobile lab.
“The $20,000 in equipment is an investment with a great return,” said Serbara. “It is an additional opportunity for students to get exposed to new technology and prepare for a very competitive world after graduation.”
Serbara then evoked the words of former President John F. Kennedy in explaining why he felt this was so important.
“As JFK said more than 40 years ago, ‘In a time of turbulence and change, it is more true than ever that knowledge is power,’” said Serbara. “It’s still relevant today. It is what differentiates people and provides them with vast opportunities.
“I feel very fortunate to be in the position to give something back to the area,” said Serbara. “It’s a credit to IBM’s education commitment they have created matching grant programs for their employees. “Hopefully, the next step will be to provide a second donation of systems to complete a classroom.”
Aults, now a part-time consultant with the district, coordinated the donation to the school with Serbara and offered her perspective on the new equipment.
“The laptops are now a part of the district’s wireless pilot program,” said Aults. “The district is still in the process of getting them out. Some are being used in presentations and the district is equipping them with wireless capability.
“These laptops are in the library and idea is the equipment can be checked out for use in the high school,” explained Aults. “We are very grateful anytime people such as Mr. Serbara decide to make a donation to the district.”
After the usual paper work and other details were worked out, the computer equipment arrived at the district in the middle of last year in time for use for the 2003-2004 school year.