Niles West’s Very Own “Geek Squad”

By Mara Shapiro

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Imagine sitting in class taking notes on your shiny, compact netbook. Just when you’re typing out the last sentence, the keyboard freezes. You’re probably experiencing fear and anger right about now. Will you have to tell your parents? Will you have to buy a new one? Chances are you won’t have to do either since Niles West has its own version of Best Buy’s famed “Geek Squad” located in the Computer Lab for each student’s convenience.

When you turn left into the Computer Lab, you’ll probably come into contact with the man with the longest title at the school, Student Technology And Application Support Specialist Tim Furman. He’s known for sending students e-mails regarding new software and technology updates. Furman hasn’t been at West for very long; this year  marks his third year as a Wolf. Prior to acquiring his long title, Furman was an English teacher for 23 years as well as a school administrator. He emailed the Chief Technology Officer here at Niles West, Guy Ballard, and got the job.

Furman has his own opinions about the school’s technological improvements

“[Ideally we’d have] one-to-one Wi-Fi,  and devices that work seamlessly with Google Apps,” Furman said.

However, plans for change are already in motion.

“From plans I’ve seen, the program is going to make huge strides in ways that are going to excite everybody,” Furman said.

Ballard confirms that netbooks will be changing for the class of 2017. The incoming freshmen will receive new Chrome Books, a much faster and bigger model than the Dell netbooks West is so accustomed to. The laptops will be compatible with online student tests and will be easier to manage in the classroom environment.

In the meantime, the tech department has to deal with the current netbooks. Furman said that the most challenging fix would be a dropped computer without insurance.

“The costs exceeds the value of the netbook. It costs $245 to replace and we can almost never fix internal damage,” Furman said.

Students appreciate what Furman and his helpers, student Tech Leaders, do to help with their technological problems.

“I had trouble with my e-mail. [Furman] was really helpful. It was over the summer, and I couldn’t get into my e-mail when people were sending me stuff. He showed me what to do in two minutes,” senior Rebecca Yun said.

Freshman Jason Fischer agrees with Yun. He said that his keyboard on his netbook froze and that the service given to him was a “10 out of 10.”

Furman and the Tech Leaders have busy schedules. Furman puts up the Leaders’ schedules up for each day, telling them the periods they need to be in the Computer Lab. There may be as few as 10 customers in a day or as many as 50. The goal is to solve everyone’s problem in one hour.

Senior Tech Leader Sunny Bharucha is in his second year as a Tech Leader. He came into the Computer Lab with a friend who was having computer trouble and decided that he wanted to help others.

“I thought it’d be cool to be one of these guys. I’m a fairly tech savvy person,” Bharucha said.

The Leaders give up at least one free period of their day to help others out. He said that the easiest part of his job is connecting people to the Wi-Fi, and that the hardest repair would be a cracked screen because the computer’s insides really need to be examined thoroughly. Bharucha wants to have a career in trouble-shooting computers and overall likes his job.

“I like helping people people with their problems. It’s nice having people look up to you and knowing stuff that not a lot of other people do,” Bharucha said.