WELCOME NEWS - Rick Ramsfield, principal of North Cottage High School, talks about the benefits of new funding from Best Buy to the School’s computer lab on Wednesday. Mark Weber/Red Deer Express

WATCH: North Cottage High School lands hefty Best Buy funds

School is one of 276 nationwide that applied for the annual grant

Red Deer’s North Cottage High School was one of 10 schools selected – out of 276 that applied – for funding from Best Buy for high-end desktop computers and an enhanced computer lab.

The Best Buy School Tech Grant topped $10,000 and the heightened level of technology at North Cottage will provide bolstered opportunities in photography, video production and other industry standard graphic software, officials say.

Ten computers and one printer will be purchased using the funds. The grant is put out by Best Buy to all schools in Canada.

“We want to make sure our students have every opportunity for learning and the grant helps level the playing field,” said Rick Ramsfield, principal of North Cottage High School.

“We don’t have the economy of scale in alternative programs to be able to afford the high-end kind of equipment that allows for those optional areas of videography, Photoshop or any of the Adobe Creative Suite software.

“So this grant has pushed us to a new level and has really created some amazing opportunities for not only our students this year, but certainly for students in the coming years as well,” he said, adding that the students will now also be able to take production outside of the school and, “Expand their exposure to the whole world of creativity that comes along with videography and photography,” he said. “I’m so excited to see where this takes us as we move forward.

“It’s also a delight to be here and be able to thank in person Best Buy for what they have done for our building.”

Evelyn Chan, a teacher at North Cottage, agreed, adding that there is much excitement at the school about the grant.

“We were super stoked as a staff, me especially, because I had been bringing my computer from home for the kids to run their stuff on,” she said. “The kids that are doing the digital arts and photo/video are so excited that they can process a video in 15 minutes as opposed to four hours.”

Specifically, the grant has provided the school with high capacity computers, a colour printer and a GoPro camera.

Grade 12 student Ethan Sisson said the new computers have opened up a world of opportunities at North Cottage, adding that the new programs increase efficiency and productivity also. “We all thank Best Buy for helping us to achieve what before we could not. The computers are already being put to good use.”

Kim Manning, a manager at Best Buy, said it was an honour to be at North Cottage for the announcement.

“I love when we as a company are able to give back to our communities,” she said, adding that it was a joy to see a Red Deer school as one of the recipients of the funding this year.

“It’s such a great honour to be here, and I’m so proud of our company that absolutely values giving back to the community.”

Meanwhile, the students and staff also hope to use these new tools to help the students build portfolios for post-secondary applications and compete at the Skills Canada Regional and Provincial Competitions.

“We are eager to provide the best learning opportunities for our Red Deer Public students,” said Laurette Woodward, board member with Red Deer Public Schools.

“When organizations, businesses and individuals from the community step up to partner with us to achieve that goal, it’s pretty exciting,” she said. “As we link arms in our community focused on students and their futures, amazing things can happen. On behalf of the board, I would like to offer a very sincere thank you to Best Buy.”

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