Kelloggsville — When Makayla Wieck sees Keith Caterino at the check-out desk of the Kelloggsville High School library, she notices a few things.
“He’s always smiling. He’s always joking around,” said Wieck, a 10th-grade student, of the district’s media services director.
A reader of mystery, fantasy and romance books, Wieck said Caterino helps obtain the kinds of books students want to read at their library.
Now, Caterino will be able to help students, faculty and staff in new and different ways as he takes on a new role: the district’s technology director.
The district’s Board of Education recently voted to appoint Caterino to the position. Caterino replaces Russ Hoorn, who left the position in January after decades with the district.
“We like to hire from within, and always promoting from within the district is a great option because you have the loyalty of the staff,” board President Laura Tanis said. “Staff and students know him. It’s just a great fit for him to take over that role.”
Caterino is working on completing the PA system for the district’s new sports complex, Tanis said. The complex will open in April.
Additionally, Caterino has three other staff members working with him to solve any network administration and technology-related issues.
“My job is to help keep everything organized,” Caterino said. “My knowledge is more teacher-focused. I’m comfortable integrating technology into the classroom.”
‘Someone You Can Approach’
Caterino helped troubleshoot problems with teachers’ Boxlight interactive touch screens when they received them, said Heather Richards, Kelloggsville Middle School eighth-grade math teacher.
“Even though he’s never been the tech guy, he’s always been the ‘tech guy’,” she said. “He knows his stuff and he’s a great guy. He’s someone you can approach.”
‘My job is to help keep everything organized. I’m comfortable integrating technology into the classroom.’— Kelloggsville technology director, Keith Caterino
Within the previous two years, Richards and her fellow teachers changed technology, from Apple desktop computers to touch-screen Chromebooks to MacBook Pro laptops. “He trained us on the spot,” Richards said.
Caterino was a classroom teacher for 27 of his 31 years in the district. He became the district’s media director four years ago.
For the rest of the current school year, Caterino will split his time between the technology director position and being the media services director at the Kelloggsville branch of the Kent District Library, located inside the high school.
Doing both jobs next school is something Caterino would like to do if the school board will let him, he said.
Caterino brings a teacher’s perspective and knowledge to the position, said Jim Alston, district superintendent.
“He will also be able to bring some familiarity and trust to the staff since he has worked in many buildings and with many different people,” Alston said. “He has a passion for technology and will be looking to help push us into utilizing it to our advantage for years to come.”
Caterino often helps students pick out books, asking them questions about what they’re interested in and using that to find something they might read.
“(Helping students) is why I got into this job in the first place,” he said.
Uriel Fernandez said Caterino will show students different books he thinks they might find interesting.
“He talks about the book and leaves you on a cliffhanger,” said Fernandez, a 10th-grader. “He’s been working here and knows everything about the books. He makes reading interesting, like a mystery almost.”