Louisa County High School prepares for cybersecurity course after it receives $100,000 award
MINERAL, Va. (WVIR) - As everyone grows increasingly dependent on online tools and the virtual world, a very new -and timely- class at Louisa County High School could yield America’s next set of cyber warriors.
A new cybersecurity class is made possible because Louisa County High School is one of five finalists for the U.S. Department of Education’s Rural Tech Project. That awarded LCHS $100,000, with the possibility to earn an additional $100,000 if they win the final round.
“We’ll be working diligently to take our idea, which was a virtual cybersecurity academy for students at LCHS, and turning it into a reality,” said Kenneth Bouwens, the school’s career and technical director.
The reality is this: cybersecurity jobs are important. That’s highlighted by this week’s news of hackings.
This class would train the next generation of ethical hackers.
“[Ethical hackers] learn what the hackers do so that you can counter what they’re doing,” said Director of Technology David Childress. “So you learn exactly what they do, but you do it for good.”
Childress is a radio-certified ethical hacker himself. He and Bouwens say the course’s goal is to ready students for a career post-graduation.
“For them to understand the basics of security a network, keeping our data and information safe, how people would hack that network, how you can stop people from hacking that network, all those things that would go along with a basic entry-level position for a company,” Bouwens said.
Louisa County Public Schools Superintendent Doug Straley says this program has the potential to be a model of what public education can be.
“We take tremendous pride here in Louisa County Public Schools for really preparing our students for a competitive, global, 21st century workforce,” he said.
Childress says the first day of these classes would be in August, just in time for the start of the 2021 school year.
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