Geary County School USD 475 Board of Education unanimously approved a new district position in the technology department at their meeting this month.

The newly opened position is for a network administrator who would oversee and work on the more than 250 network switches, more than 1,200 phones and 800 wireless access points across the school district, Karl DeArmond, chief information officer of the technology department said.

The position would work with and oversee around 5,000 daily wireless clients as well as various communication devices.

Tim Winter, director of Personnel Services, said the needs of the technology department continue to grow, especially as the student population has grown. He and DeArmond both recommended the board approve the position, so the department will get the extra assistance it needs.

DeArmond said the department plans to finance the position with savings from their Cyber Security Program. He said changes they made to the program cause the district to save approximately $900 annually.

“That would fund this position and any benefits associated with that, which is sometimes called a fully loaded position,” he said.

DeArmond explained at the meeting that in the history of the departments staffing changes, multiple positions were left unfilled voluntarily. In 2016, the department moved a data position to another department. In 2017, staff chose not to fill a computer technician position and in 2018, staff chose not to fill an inventory specialist position. In 2019, the didn’t fill an instructional technologist position.

“Over that time, the needs of the district have not changed,” he said. “The need for a network administrator position.”

Dr. Anwar Khoury, president of the board, asked if the technology department has a specific person in mind to fill the position, and DeArmond said it doesn’t and the staff will post the position, review applications and perform interviews.

Rina Neal asked at the meeting how many people currently work in the department.

DeArmond said they have eight computer technologists, a director, a technology manager, a network manager, two network administrators (not including the new position,) two inventory specialists, who also perform various other tasks, and two instructional technologists. In addition, the department includes two instructional technologists who are embedded in the middle schools.

That equals a total of 19 employees working in the technology department for the district. With the addition of the new position, there are now 20.

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