Published: Sunday, February 05, 2012, 8:30 AM

PARMA HEIGHTS — In an era when students have to compete on a global scale, Holy Name High School has taken a giant step in that direction.

The newly opened Ferrante Library Media Center, named after Tony Ferrante (class of 1948), provides the school’s 651 students with 33 new laptop computers and 10 iPads.
In addition to the computers, the center, built at a cost of $225,000, will have an instructional classroom and a soon-to-be-completed TV production room and control room for in-school broadcasts.
Sister Paul Greggila, the library media specialist, has seen the school’s library evolve from shelves of books to include this latest technology, which puts the world literally at the students’ fingertips.
“The availability of technology — iPads, laptops, Nook e-readers and iMacs — offer students the opportunity to access current information for research as well as topics of interest,” Greggila said.
“The adjacent library media center classroom offers a flexible environment in which tables can be reconfigured for group work, instructional activities on the SMART board or individual projects on laptop computers,” she said.
“This classroom can be used for library media instruction or by teachers needing a more flexible setting than the standard classroom,” she said.
Kim Luthman-Jones, head girls basketball coach and a history teacher at the school, is thrilled with the new “tools” at her disposal as a teacher.
“We live in a technological world,” Luthman-Jones said. “Kids would much rather read and look up information on an iPad than read it in a book, in my opinion.
“With the iPads, apps have been created specifically for student use. Many apps are even free, and if they aren’t free, they are still a lot cheaper than buying a book.
“This is particularly true for (advance-placement) world history, which I teach. If students don’t have an iPad or purchased study materials, they are accessible here in the media center.”
The funds to build the center were donated by alumni in a capital campaign that raised approximately $260,000.
Holy Name High School will be celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2014, and this is certainly a way to prepare for its future as a college preparatory school.