9 who shine: Computer savvy

A bundle of wires snakes across the ceiling of the Cisco Academy classroom at the Shelby County School of Technology.

Daniel DuBose, with the help of peers, built those cables that create the networking for the classroom’s computers and servers.

“The technology we learn about is so current,” DuBose said. “We always know what new computer or networking systems are coming out next.”

DuBose entered the Cisco Academy as a junior. That same year he received a gold medal at the state Internetworking competition and placed eleventh at the national competition.

Instructor Scott Shaddix said students must be able to put a lot of knowledge to use in a short time.

“It’s a highly advanced competition that requires major critical thinking skills,” Shaddix said. “Everything is timed, so it’s high pressure.”

DuBose didn’t originally think this would be a career path he would follow.

“I’ve always been really interested in computers, mainly the software, but it’s been great to learn about the other side,” DuBose said. “We do everything from designing an office’s network plan to troubleshooting problems for hard drives.”

Shaddix said the program would present DuBose with a range of opportunities.

“When they come out of here, not only will they have a quality education, they’ll have a skill to pair with that education,” Shaddix said. “Hopefully, that will put them in the front of the employment line.”

There are 50–70 kids in the Cisco program at the School of Technology each year.