Exploring the Tech Department

Hardworking tech team strives to advance ELHS and set students up for success


EL’s Tech Department, headed by tech lead Ben McCarthy, works tirelessly to ensure students and faculty have as
many technological resources available as possible.

“The time when you guys (students) have breaks and holidays is when we get the most done. It’s our time to shine,” Mr. McCarthy said.

From the last day of school when students handed in their laptops to the week before school started when they got them back, Mr. McCarthy and his five-person department worked every day to service and improve them.

“Over the summer we re-image every laptop. That process involves updating them all, reinstalling programs that may contain bugs or backdoors into our protected systems, and making sure all of our firewalls are working to
protect all of your [students’] information,” Mr. McCarthy said.

“I hope students know we are here for you. Every time someone comes in to ask a question or get something fixed, we basically drop whatever we’re doing to help,” senior technician Jay Ayotte said.

“If it isn’t a quick fix then we have a pile of other ready-to-go laptops from past fixes so they can go back to class with a working device,” Mr. Ayotte continued.

Mr. Ayotte is the newest addition to the team and started on the first day of school, ready to jump in and help students. He got into the tech industry after finishing his service in the Navy.

“I worked in tech at a healthcare group before coming to East Lyme and have worked in other schools before, but the interactions with students as the end user are way better here than anywhere else I’ve worked,” Mr. Ayotte said.

Mr. McCarthy, who comes from an oil painting background before starting in tech, expressed the same appreciation for EL.

“The adjustment from the corporate world is big. I get surprised sometimes that everyone here speaks in terms of solutions rather than problems. This district especially makes it a joy to come to work every day,” Mr. McCarthy said.

Every day after making the hour-long commute to be in the library before 7 a.m. and checking in with his team, Mr. McCarthy is busy with technology board meetings, and driving between all schools in the district to help his team.

“This year, we have some big goals. Right now we’re getting two or three new printers for each school so students can print directly from their laptops. We’re also finishing up the process of allowing students to directly communicate
with colleges and ‘.edu’ emails and websites through their elpsk12 accounts,” Mr. McCarthy said.