By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
The school systems tech man
Herman Metcalf keeps teachers Internet ready
W Unsung Metcalf
Herman Metcalf

  Throughout the Bulloch County public school system, there is hardly a person whose task probably was made easier because of the efforts of Herman Metcalf. Metcalf helped bring the Internet into every classroom in every public school throughout the county.
      Raised in Williamsburg, Va., Metcalf entered the armed forces after high school. At first serving as quartermaster in the Naval Reserves, Metcalf then shifted over to the Army, where he served as an advanced drill sergeant.
      He left the Army and began working for BASF. Over the next decade, Metcalf worked seemingly in every department of the company’s plant in Sylvania. Starting out as a knitting mechanic, he had a brief stint as a clerk in the accounting department and then moved over to quality control.
      Eventually Metcalf worked his way into the industrial engineering department, where he served as a time study technician. It was at this time that Metcalf began implementing the computerization of the company’s databases.
      When it was learned that the plant was closing in 1994, Metcalf began working throughout Bulloch County’s schools.
      Then school superintendent Billy Bice and technology coordinator Eddie Spencer had convinced Metcalf to work his computer magic for them, as Bulloch’s public schools were sorely lacking in computer technology and Internet networking.
      Metcalf was assigned, along with new hire Julie Mizell, to travel to different schools fixing whatever computer problems they found.
      As Metcalf remembers, he and Mizell had little to work with and not much to work on. The first summer after they were hired, they finally got the school system’s first network up and running. Metcalf became CISCO certified in both network and design.
      Metcalf applied for special E-Rate funding for the Bulloch County public schools, earning the county a $2.5 million dollar grant. This money was used to install fiber optic networks to every school, and then place six computer hookups in each class.
      After that, he set up what was then the fastest Wide Area Network (WAN) amongst all the states public schools, running at a speed of one-Gigabit. Now, Metcalf looks forward to completing the installation of a Voice Over Internet Phone system throughout the county’s public schools.
      Metcalf’s latest designation is systems integrator. Asked to describe what people in his department do, Metcalf replied: “We are the wind beneath the teachers’ wings.”

Sign up for the Herald's free e-newsletter