Mountain View continues proud technology tradition [El Paso Times, Texas :: ]
(El Paso Times (TX) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) April 19--Motherboards, cases routers, memory, hard drives and other computer components are stacked up all over desks.
And yet the scene inside the Mountain View High School technology classroom doesn't mean you've walked into a computer graveyard.
In reality, it's a technology learning hub for Dustin Blystone's students.
They build computers from the ground up, but not just for fun.
Those machines are the ones the school uses in the library, classrooms and computers labs.
If there's an issue, the school doesn't call the Geek Squad. Instead, they rely on the students to act as the campus' information technology experts, ready to tackle any and all technological hiccups.
Thanks to Blystone's tutelage, his students have participated in national competitions and gone on to work for technology and computer companies such as Dell.
Later this month, Mountain View seniors will continue that tradition when Hector Ramos and Victor Velasco head to the Business Professionals of America 2014 National Leadership Conference.
There, they will participate in a business skills competitions.
"It feels great to see your students having success and pursuing careers," information technology teacher Blystone said.
The high school duo is going to Indianapolis after placing at the state leadership conference and competition in Houston last month, a news release by the Clint Independent School District said.
"The next step would be preparing for the national leadership conference," said Ramos, a senior who wants to major in computer science and work for a company like Microsoft.
Both Ramos and Velasco said they hope to place in the top 10 at nationals.
For Velasco, Blystone added, this would also mean the opportunity to receive a certification from Microsoft (MTA -- Networking Fundamentals) which will be part of the competition.
Doing so, Blystone said, would mean getting certifications from companies such as Cisco and Microsoft.
Velasco, who wants to become an electrical engineer spoke very little when asked about the upcoming competition but nodded in agreement when Ramos spoke about wanting to place in the top ten.
"To place in the top 10 -- that's the same goal for both," Ramos interjected. "...We've taken the opportunity to start early in this field. ...Being able to experience this at such a young age, I think this is better because a lot of people go into college and they don't know what they want to study. For us, we already know what we want to do."
At the March leadership conference, Ramos got first place in the Cisco network administration competition.
Velasco got first place in the computer network technology.
Other Mountain View students also performed well at the leadership conference.
Blystone's team received third place honors in Network Design. That team included: Ramos, Benito De La Pena, Alejandro Madrid and Oliver Martinez.
The school also received fourth place in Video Production. That team included: Javier Rodriguez, Genesis Saucedo, Angelica Vedoy, and Angelica De La Pena.
Individual honors at the leadership conference included Madrid, who got sixth place for network administration using Microsoft.
Abigail Rosas placed sixth in XHTML. Martinez placed seventh in mobile applications and eight in information technology open events.
Mountain View is a chapter member of the Business Professionals of America, an organization that, according to its website, "supports business and information technology educators by offering co-curricular exercises based on national standards."
The conference focuses on "business workforce education," a district news release stated.
Blystone explained it by saying his students will be competing in competitions that align with certifications, such as Cisco's CCNA, that his students are currently working toward.
"The competition at nationals is more difficult because you are competing against all the other state finalists and qualifiers from around the country so we definitely have our work cut out for us to try to place in the top 10," Blystone said.
Blystone has been running what he and his students call the IT institute for 14 years. Their goal, he added is to equip students with as many certifications before they graduate.
Luis Carlos Lopez may be reached at 546-6381.
(c)2014 the El Paso Times (El Paso, Texas)
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