Last Friday Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft, visited the O’Bryant School of Math and Science. I was fortunate enough to be there for the event. Also there was Mayor Menino of the city of Boston. The mayor is running for reelection BTW and I have not opinion on that race being from New Hampshire.
The occasion was to talk about the donation of over 150 computers to the school from Microsoft as well as to talk about a city-wide program to get students involved in refurbishing computers for use in education.
The O’Bryant School is one of three entrance exam high schools in the city of Boston. I spent a couple of days there making sure that the computers Microsoft donated were working properly. So I had a chance to observe the place. There are subtle things you can observe in a school if you have been involved in education for a while that tell you things about a school. Are the halls quiet during passing? How about during classes? Do kids flee the building at the end of the day or do you have to just about chase them away? What is the attitude of the teachers towards their students? Do teachers still have smiles on their faces at the end of the day?
I’ll tell you I was very impressed with the O’Bryant school. From the Headmaster on down the faculty and staff seem to really care about and value the students. The students are quiet and respectful but by no means have their personalities been crushed. These kids are alive. It is always encouraging to visit schools like the O’Bryant school. I’m really glad that Microsoft is partnering with them.
I should mention that I have also been to the Seacoast School of Technology in Exeter NH and the Greater Lowell Technical High School in Tyngsboro, MA lately. I am proud to serve on industry advisory boards for those two schools. They are also wonderful places that are helping great kids do great things for the future.