Thompson High School senior Chandler Foushee, left, and THS art teacher Dian McCray prepare to use the school's new batch of MacBook laptops on March 6. (Reporter Photo/Neal Wagner)
Thompson High School senior Chandler Foushee, left, and THS art teacher Dian McCray prepare to use the school's new batch of MacBook laptops on March 6. (Reporter Photo/Neal Wagner)

Archived Story

THS Art Department receives 11 MacBook laptops

Published 11:48am Thursday, March 6, 2014

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

For the past 22 years, every student who has taken the Advanced Placement art class at Thompson High School has completed the requirements necessary to earn early college credits.

Until Feb. 6, art students at the school used editing software from the late 1990s each time they completed a digital project.

“There was just no way for us to do some things before we got these,” THS senior art student Chandler Foushee said as she stood next to a cart of 11 MacBook laptops in the school’s art classroom on March 6. “I’m excited that we get to use them this year, but I’m also excited for those (students) who will come after me.”

THS art teacher Dian McCray said the school system surprised the school’s Art Department with the new laptops on Feb. 28, much to the delight of the department’s students and teachers.

“They came walking in with all these boxes on Friday and surprised us,” McCray said. “Today has actually been the first day the students have touched them. They’ve been excited about it all week.”

Over the past several years, THS art students have been well-respected after graduating from the school, McCray said. Because the students have had limited access to computer art software, McCray said she has focused on developing the students’ art composition skills above all else.

“We are going to continue to teach strong composition skills, but now each student at the AP level will have a dedicated computer they will work on,” McCray said, noting the art II class and other classes in the Art Department will also use the computers. “I always want my kids to be prepared for college. This is going to give them a leg up in a really competitive field.”

Alabaster City Schools Technology Coordinator Keith Price said the computers will help the THS Art Department to build on the success it has seen over the years.

“We are glad technology will not be a roadblock anymore,” Price said. “I can’t even imagine what possibilities this will open up for the kids.”

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