One wouldn’t expect a Northern Wisconsin high school to be a leader in technology-focused education, but that was the mission given to Argosy University, Twin Cities graduate, Jim Bouché. Bouché, who received his Education Specialist degree with a focus on Technology Enhanced Ecucation from the University in 2006, took the Principalship at Lakeland Union High School (LUHS) in 2008. In the short time he’s been there, he has literally brought the school out of the technological dark ages and into the light.
Right from the start, Bouché was asked by the district to set up and implement a three year technology plan that would modernize the school’s approach to technology and the classroom. The high school had no functional website, out of date computers, two LCD projectors to serve the entire student population, and a “hodge-podge” of active directory servers.
With more than 32 years experience in education, Bouché coupled his experiences as both a teacher and administrator with the knowledge gained in his own educational studies. He has worked hard and fast to create programs that impact the students and families he serves.
In less than three years, with the support of the superintendent and school board, the school now boasts three new computer labs with 26 Intel desk top machines, 30 Mac Books, 26 - 23” iMacs for graphic arts classes, and a classroom for the business department with 25 Intel desktop computers. The school has established eleven mobile labs with 30 laptops each, and a host of flip cameras that can be checked out by students. Additionally, there are six iMacs for high end graphics use in the Library Media Center.
In all, 44 classrooms have been updated to include LCD projectors with audio enhanced speaker systems. Teachers have their own individual web sites, use digital grade books, and utilize BlackBoard, blogs, Wiki’s, and podcasting to ensure the technology their students use at home is being brought into the classroom.
Students now have their own email addresses for turning in assignments and enjoy an open policy for cell phone use. Students are permitted to use cell phones on campus before school, at lunch, after school and between classes, and are encouraged to do research and take notes on those devices.
“We live in an exciting time in the world of education,” says Bouché. “We can make a difference in our students if we model the importance of having a vision for the future.”
Bouché is a frequent lecturer on the subject of technology and education. He holds a Master of Science degree in Education from the University of Wisconsin – Platteville, a Master of Arts in Education Leadership from Marian College and Bachelor of Arts in English Education from the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire. In addition he has an administrative license in English, PE/Health, and has administrative certification in both Wisconsin and Minnesota.
“The degree that I received at Argosy University gave me confidence and reassurance in myself as a 21st Century administrative leader,” says Bouché. “I am grateful to have the ability to help others see and experience the vision that will affect our students.”