QTL for IT Resources for teachers
About QTL for IT Educators  
  Support for QTL for IT Teachers
Overview of QTL for IT Educators  
  teachers talk about QTL for IT Educators
Starting a QTL for IT Educators program  
QTL for IT Training  
  FAQs about QTL for IT Educators
QTL for IT Educators > News > Article Summaries > Current Article

Student Goes from classroom to Central Office
as Mississippi school system's Technology Coordinator

May 19, 2004

HATTIESBURG, MS - From the first time Joey Herring walked into her Computer Engineering classroom, ExplorNet teacher Lynne Houston knew he was bound for great things. But she had no idea how fast he'd get into a position of great responsibility.

Herring graduated from Hattiesburg High School in 2003. Now, less than a year later, he is technology coordinator for the entire school district.

"He's only 19 years old, and he's the man who is over everything," Houston marvels. "I tell him I refuse to call him boss."

Joey Herring with teacher Lynne Houston
At age 19, Joey Herring, pictured with teacher Lynne Houston, is a rapidly rising star in the field of educational technology in Mississippi.

Herring doesn't expect her to, and says he has no trouble working with people who are older and have more experience. "It's been no problem," he says. "I worked with them so well before I became technology coordinator, when I was a technician."

Herring did get his start the old-fashioned way, taking on part-time work after school
and then working his way through the ranks. What's unusual is the speed with which it happened.

Houston says Herring already know a lot about technology when he started her class, and was a quick learner with what he didn't know. He got hands-on experience through Hattiesburg's student tech support program, and also participated in the 2002 Mississippi Student Computer Build, where ExplorNet students and teachers built 6,000 computers in a project spearheaded by the governor's office.

By the time he graduated May 2003, Herring had already spent a year working on the district's computers after school. Administrators readily hired him full-time, and he got more on-the-job experience in the months that followed. When the district's technology coordinator left this spring, Herring got the job.

And it's a big one. As network administrator, Herring keeps the district's computers operating and ensures that users have the proper rights. He deals with security issues. He plans and implements upgrades. He handles software for all 10 schools in the district, and is responsible for 19 servers and about 2,000 computers. He manages a tech staff that includes two inside technicians, and two more who travel to schools. In addition, each school has a teacher who receives a stipend to work an extra hour a day on technology issues in that school. Herring supervises their efforts.

In addition to the full time, Herring is getting his associate's degree in Network Administration. After working from 8-5 every day, he attends community college classes every night from 6-10.

"It's been very tough at times," Herring admits. He says he may cut back his college class schedule, but intends to continue working full-time.

"I really got to know our infrastructure and just found a liking for education," he says. "My focus is to incorporate technology into education. I really like being able to help teachers incorporate technology into the classroom."

Houston speaks about her former student almost like a proud mother.

"He was so awesome in my ExplorNet class," she says. "This is one of those times when a teacher realizes that her student is going to be successful in life through the career he has chosen as a result of the teaching she's provided. And that's a great feeling."


For more information, contact Robin Fred via e-mail at or call him at 888.507.3800.

Back to Top
Article Summaries Page
Copyright 2005, The Centers for Quality Teaching and Learning™. All rights reserved.
Please send questions or comments about this site to the QTL™