Meet Kinkaid's Technology Team
Larry Kahn, the Director of Academic and Information Technology, oversees both how technology is used in learning at Kinkaid and the technology that runs the business of the school. There have been many changes over the six years Mr. Kahn has been at Kinkaid. These include consolidating the school databases, upgrading the School's website, equipping most classrooms with interactive whiteboards and mounted projectors, and initiating a laptop program for faculty and staff.
"When I was a music major at The Catholic University of America I was especially entranced by the study of harmony and counterpoint and found that I would often lose track of time when analyzing the work of the masters, especially Bach and the later Beethoven works. When I became interested in computers and learned how to write programs, I found an enjoyment incredibly similar in creating and debugging code to what I found in analyzing music. There is a beautiful logic in adhering to and then improvising upon, the rules in both that I find compelling. One of the things I relish about working with students and colleagues is being able to share with them the joy of thinking creatively as they engage with the instruments of technology."
Larry enjoys spending time with his wife, Susan Davis and his daughters, Meghan and Emily.
Technology Information Team
Joshua Godden has been the Manager of Information Technology for four years at Kinkaid. Josh is responsible for a lot of behind-the-scenes te chnol ogy that most people never see such as servers, email, the network, Internet and the phone system. Additionally, he manages and coordinates all technology projects, such as installation of Promethean boards and upgrades to existing equipment. The Kinkaid IT department is tasked with the interesting problem of considering the technology needs for children ages four to eighteen, while also having to keep in mind the needs of the faculty and staff. This is always an exciting challenge, and with constantly evolving technology, one that keeps him on his toes!
When Josh isn't saving Kinkaid from a technology meltdown, he's spending time with his wife and two children, ages six and ten. Josh loves helping them with their schoolwork and teaching them about technology along with bass fishing and rooting for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Robert Parrish has served as Kinkaid's Senior Hardware Technician for the school’s Network Operations department for two years, and it has been one of his favorite jobs. As the hardware technician, he is constantly surrounded by technology, from using email for ongoing discussions, using our web-based School Dude application to track service calls, to walking around with his iPad taking notes on items that need to be addressed in the future. For the most part, the pen and paper days are part of a bygone era, though post-it notes still litter his desk. Robert is a people person and here at Kinkaid gets to work closely with the staff and faculty, getting to know each person's idiosyncrasies, personalities and attitudes towards technology.
There are few things that give him the overwhelming feeling of accomplishment like being a dad, "I give thanks everyday that I am able to be a father and have the joyous opportunity to help raise a nd mold my children into happy, productive members of society. It is because of them that I come to work and go home each day."
Technical Support Specialist Jason Kariel '99 provides technical support for faculty and staff, and manages theSchool’s help desk and asset management system. These systems are used to track technology repairs and problems and keep the School’s inventory of computers, printers, projectors, and so on up to date. He also is responsible for organizing and tracking the school’s software licenses. Jason just started his third year working at Kinkaid, but has been involved with the School for much longer. Jason attended Kinkaid from 6th to 12th grade. He actually fulfilled his service requirement, while attending Kinkaid as a student, in the computer department, performing some of the same tasks he is now responsible for on a daily basis. At that time, the technology at Kinkaid was much more limited than it is now. Whether it’s laptops in every classroom, or interactive white boards being used by teachers and students, or iPads being used as a teaching tool, he enjoys watching Kinkaid’s use of technology grow every year. Jason and his wife are very excited to be expecting their first child in February.
Website Administrator Keith Guehring manages any task or project related to the Kinkaid website. Keith believes the School's website should be aesthetically pleasing and should be an efficient tool of communication for the Kinkaid community.
When Keith started in 2000, the website was a relatively simple online brochure with links to teacher webpages. The current website now offers a customized section for parents and students to view classes with links to assignments, event dates and even online class discussion boards. During the past two years, the Kinkaid website has added features such as alerts, e-newsletters, RSS feeds and news blogs. People outside of Kinkaid are amazed when Keith talks about all the features that The Kinkaid School website offers to our families and community.
Before c oming to Kinkaid, Keith taught Art and Computer Animation at Hastings High School in Alief ISD. His teaching experience helped him appreciate the hard work that the Kinkaid faculty does every day in the classroom.
Outside of work, Keith has a small art studio in his house where he paints with acrylic and oil on canvas. He has exhibited paintings at Lawndale Art Center and has completed several commissioned paintings. In addition to painting, Keith enjoys watching baseball and rooting for the Astros. He has been married for over three years to Monica Guehring who sings with the Houston Cantare group and the St. Paul's Methodist Church Choir. His wife also tea ches third grade at Sneed Elementary in Alief I.S.D.
Academic Technology Team
"I was teaching @ Kinkaid before computers," said Peter Pickett, the Academic Technology Coordinator for the Lower School. The first time Peter used computers at Kinkaid, he was the Director of Kindergarten. During the mid 1980s, in the old music room off the library, Kinkaid had 10 Apple IIe computers. Peter brought kindergarten students to the "computer lab" once a week. Peter says, he remembers teaching “EZ Logo” from a 5 1/4 inch floppy disk. Students would control a "turtle" going thru a maze, watching a green monochrome display screen. Peter later moved to third grade. "My classroom was near the "new" computer lab with Macintosh II Computers. All teachers would bring their class to the computer lab. If something was not working, a teacher would show up at my door and I would run across the hallway to help them out. I remember using The Oregon Trail and ClarisWorks (later called AppleWorks) for word processing. We could create a document and draw shapes on the computer! Also started using Kid Pix. A wonderful program for drawing pictures on the computer. I think Kid Pix is the only software that I still teach today."
During the 1990’s Headmaster Don North created a school-wide Technology Committee with board members, teachers and parents. This committee decided that Kinkaid should create a computer network and keep using Macintosh computers. Upper School student Ben Eloy '98 was very involved in designing and building Kinkaid’s first computer network. As a result of the Technology Committee, Don North named Peter the first Technology Coordinator in the Lower School.
Today in the Lower School all teachers have laptop computers, there is a computer lab with the latest iMac computers, over 120 desktop computers in the classrooms, 80 laptops on four mobile carts, printers, scanners, and a daily, live TV show that is run by fourth graders. All classrooms have a mounted projector that displays a teacher’s computer on a interactive Promethean smart board. Teachers can control their computer while teaching at the front of the classroom. The Lower School and Peter have both come a long way from those first 10 Apple IIe computers.
At the end of the school day, you will most likely find Peter in the Athletic area filming varsity sports for the Kinkaid coaches. He also enjoys spending time with his wife Corinne and two daughters Corinne '02 and Meredith '04.
Kim Adkins started teaching Computer Applications in the Upper School in 2005. When Kinkaid adopted Veracross as its information system in 2006, Kim took on the role of database analyst. Her experience with Excel and Word integrate well with this role, as many reports require retrieving and manipulating data to get it in a publishable format. Report cards, transcripts, schedules and the school directory all come directly out of the data in Veracross.
"A lot of people come to me with frustrations using Microsoft Office, and one of the most satisfying parts of my job is helping them learn how to make technology work for them instead of against them, " said Kim. Her expertise in this area also has allowed her to get to know members of the Kinkaid community outside of the Upper School, including many parents who occasionally seek her advice. "I love puzzles of any type, and Microsoft has certainly provided me many opportunities to work on puzzling issues!"
"One thing I would love to clarify: I am not related to any of the Adkins boys at Kinkaid. I learned early on that Kinkaid parent Kim Grant Adkins is a delightful lady who cheerfully and frequently forwards any misdirected emails to me--and I frequently return the favor."
Kim's husband, Barry Adkins, is a tax attorney at Chamberlain, Hrdlicka. Her daughter, Lindsay, 24, is in her second year of dental school at UT Health Science Center, Houston and her other daughter, Courtney, 21, just graduated from TCU and will be pursuing a masters degree in Educational Psychology.
Brenda Meyer, Middle School Technology Coordinator, came from a small town in the South Plains of Texas (near Lubbock) where she started working with computers in college--punching cards and wiring boards to get the columns and rows to correctly print in a spreadsheet. She was the first computer teacher at Alief Hastings High School in the early ‘70’s. "Just after the first desktop computers were introduced, I started my own 'professional development' by taking myself to technology conferences in the late ‘80’s and early 90’s. In 2001, I came to Kinkaid because of the platform used here—Apple—and became the Technology Coordinator of the Middle School. I interviewed with Deborah Veselka who became an instant friend and tech buddy."
Currently Brenda teaches one class of 8th graders, and spends most of her time teaching and/or helping teachers find technology-integrated resources for their classrooms (or fix their Promethean boards or printers.) In the classroom, students learn how to use different applications through project-based curricula. Microsoft Office and iWorks are used throughout the year, as details for using a word processor, spreadsheet or presentation tools are emphasized. A service-learning project is included which teaches mostly about the iLife suite of programs on our Apple computers—Garageband, iPhoto, and iMovie—as we help older adults write their life stories and leave their legacies. Brenda teaches students how to communicate effectively, find answers to their questions, evaluate information they find and then present their findings to an audience of their peers and beyond. She keeps the Middle School on the forefront of new technology and has recently introduced a few teachers to the iPad. Next year she hopes to have iPads used in many classrooms to enhance the curriculum with apps that boost interest and learning.
"I have a retired husband, three beautiful daughters, who have found three handsome husbands, and have given us two wonderful grandsons and a new granddaughter. Life is good, and I am blessed!"
Harlan Howe joined the Kinkaid faculty in 2000 as a teacher of Physics and Computer Science. In 2005, he became the Upper School Technology Coordinator and continues to teach Computer Science. His job entails giving technical support to upper school faculty, maintaining software on computers in the labs and carts, providing faculty with technology resources (such as laptop carts, cameras, or projectors), training and encouraging teachers to use technology in the classroom to support learning,and teaching computer programming to students.
In his spare time, Harlan likes to play volleyball, work with stained glass, take 3-D photographs and write videogames. His latest iPad game, "Implosion!," has been picked up in the Apple Store. Additionally, a project he is working on for school has been setting up a "Makerbot" rapid prototyping machine, a 3-D printer that builds objects out of plastic.
He enjoys teaching at Kinkaid with his wife Kathy, who teaches mathematics in the Middle School.