Lake Zurich High School’s business classes receive $12,000 influx
Lake Zurich High School teacher Billy Pitcher works with freshman Rahil Shah on Friday in his keyboarding class. All students in the school's Business Education Department will benefit from a new $12,000 grant. | Brian O'Mahoney~for Sun-Times Media
Updated: November 12, 2012 10:37AM
LAKE ZURICH — Lake Zurich High School’s Business Education Department has received a $12,000 grant from the Riverwoods-based Discover Brighter Futures Fund.
Bill Pitcher, who teaches business education, applied for the grant. He explained that the department plans to use the funds for new software like iPads to use in the computer lab.
“We’re trying to get more technology into our department,” Pitcher said. “They have a lot of apps now that are geared toward education.”
Angela Fortune, the chair of the Business Department, agreed that buying iPads would be a great way to use the grant money.
“We’re going to purchase iPads,” she said. Right now, we’re researching apps.”
Fortune said the department plans to purchase up to 25 of the tablet computers to be used exclusively in the Business Education Department.
With the growing reliance on technology in the classroom, Pitcher explained, students are turning to special computer programs and iPad apps to explore and research career options and other real world educational information like stock quotes.
Pitcher said Ameritrade has a program that the business department is researching before bringing it into its lesson plans. He also referenced apps for note-taking that could prove very beneficial.
The apps are the easier, cheaper purchases as well.
“Actually, a lot of them are free,” he said.
Pitcher said a school parent tipped off the principal about the grant program. The principal forwarded the message to the business teachers and Pitcher made it happen.
“A few weeks after I applied, I found a check in my mailbox for $12,000,” he said.
Pitcher, who also coaches basketball at the high school, said the department wants to set some of the grant money aside for field trips if there is money left over after the purchase of the iPads.
“When I wrote the grant, those were all things that were listed,” Pitcher said. “If there’s money after purchasing the iPads, we’re looking at the Chicago Board of Trade and the Federal Reserve.”
The Discover Brighter Futures Fund is a donor-advised account within the Goldman Sachs Philanthropy Fund. Its Pathway to Financial Success program awarded the grant to the high school.
Once the necessary equipment is purchased, Pitcher said, the department plans to integrate the new technology into classrooms as early as the end of the month.