For the past couple months, thanks to a corporate matching gift program from the Cisco Foundation, Harker’s upper school students, faculty and staff have enjoyed seeing digital signs manufactured by Cisco around the Saratoga campus.
In early October, during a recent event thanking Harker parents who work for Cisco for being a part of the company’s employee matching program which made the signage possible, Harker officially expressed its gratitude for all they have donated.
The Oct. 4 evening gathering was held in the lobby of the upper school’s main administration building. About 40 people were in attendance, with Dan Hudkins, Harker’s director of instructional technology, giving a presentation specifically about how the digital signs from the Cisco philanthropic program are being used.
The new signs offer information about upcoming events, lunch menus, sports scores and more. The hardware for the project was made available to Harker through a special Cisco donation program, wherein Cisco employees can have three dollars added to every dollar they donate if the donation is made in Cisco products equal to that value.
Due to the coordinated efforts of Harker parents employed at Cisco, the school has saved hundreds of thousands of dollars on Cisco products, including the digital signage, in the last several years. Digital signs are tentatively expected to appear at other Harker campuses by the spring of 2013.
“I think it’s great for the Harker community as well as for allowing students access to not only the Internet but also the new technology,” said alumni parent Haidung Nguyen (Devin Nguyen ’12), who works for Cisco and coordinated Cisco/parent donations for the past five years. Taking over from Nguyen as Cisco program coordinator this year is another dedicated Harker parent, Jatinder Kaur (Sukrit Kalsi, grade 2; Montek Kalsi, grade 5).
“This is what Cisco’s vision is …. Changing how we work, play and learn,” added Randy Huang (Grace, grade 5; Jason, grade 6), who works for Cisco and was involved in the program.
Hudkins credited Cisco with enabling Harker to provide more bandwidth, control and service without having to spend as much money. “Because of the generosity of Harker parents who work at Cisco and the Cisco Foundation, we can do more and we can do it better than we could if we had to it otherwise,” he said.
The Winged Post sophomore reporters Sindhu Ravuri and Jessica Chang contributed to this story.