MARINE CORPS LOGISTICS BASE ALBANY, Ga. -- Sherwood Christian Academy, received a technological boost from MCLB Albany Sept. 13 when Col. Charles V. Mugno, MCLB Albany commanding officer, signed over $80,000 worth of computer equipment to Brenda McDonald, Sherwood Christian Academy administrative assistant.
The donation of the 161 monitors, 166 central processing units and 47 printers is authorized under Executive Order 12999 "Educational Technology: Ensuring Opportunities for All Children in the Next Century."
Mugno, a Brooklyn, N.Y. native married to a former high school teacher, expressed that he was glad to be able to help the school better meet the demands of the 21st century, and better prepare the students for the workplace.
"The computer donation to the schools is an investment in our future," said Mugno. "Computer skills are a necessity. The workplace today is becoming increasingly technological. Students used to have to computer skills to go to college, now they have computers in kindergarten."
According to Mugno, executive order 12999 was a great piece of legislation, and was very easy to create, because it did not need approval from Congress or the Senate. It was able to be approved and signed by the president alone through his executive privilege as commander and chief.
This is the first time Mugno has signed over computers to the surrounding community since arriving on MCLB Albany, and according to him it is one of the best parts of being the base commanding officer.
"I mean this in all sincerity," said Mugno. "Being able to take care of the community and the Marines and civilians on the base is one of the most rewarding parts of my job. It gives me a real sense of satisfaction and accomplishment."
According to McDonald Sherwood Christian Academy plans to put the computers to good use.
"We have three computer labs," said McDonald, "one in the elementary school, one in the middle school and one in the high school. These computers will allow us to have one computer per student when they are in the computer classroom. It will also allow teachers to have a computer in each classroom to augment and assist them with their instruction."
Prior to Executive Order 12999, computers were disposed of through the Defense Reutilization and Marketing Office, where they were sold by auction to the highest bidder. The order allows a savings to the taxpayer by transferring computers from the military to schools who would otherwise have to purchase the computers.
"Any time we can take things that are still useable and give them to schools so that children can grow up with technology and contribute better to society it is truly great," said Mugno. "Skills they learn now will help and prepare them for later on in life."
Mugno said that he believes education is critically important to the success of our country.
According to Mugno, the people in schools today are better educated and more skilled than when the previous generation were in school.
"The person who replaces you and me are in school right now," said Mugno. "They are better educated and more technologically skilled than we were. Just like we are probably more technologically skilled than the person we replaced."
Mugno related an event from when earlier in his career to better demonstrate his point. At the time, the Marine Corps needed computer information officers. In order to qualify for the position, officer candidates had to have at least a bachelor's degree in computer science.
"The average high school student today has far more knowledge and have a better understanding of computers than any of those computer information officers," said Mugno. "That is how much technological skills has changed."
Sherwood Christian Academy is the sixth school to receive computers from MCLB Albany through Executive Order 12999. The other schools which have received computers from the base include Westbrook Middle School, Worth County Middle School, Dougherty County High School, Lee County High School and Byne Memorial Baptist School.
All schools, public and private are eligible to receive computers under Executive Order 12999. Schools receive computers from the Marine Base in the order which requests were received.
According to McDonald, Sherwood Christian Academy has only been on the waiting list for just over 6 months before they received the computers.
"An employee on the base told one of our teachers about the program," said McDonald. "She brought it to the principal's or the assistant principal's attention. A letter was written, we were put on the waiting list, and now here we are."
According to McDonald, MCLB Albany personnel have been very supportive, of both Sherwood Christian Academy and the communities surrounding the Marine Corps Base.