Last year, Chelmsford teacher and coach Tom Gallagher was accidentally paralyzed.
While the town came to his aid, Chelmsford-based Pro AV Systems also came to the educator's aid, equipping his classroom with a serious of new technologies to help him stay in the classroom, ranging from wireless handsfree microphones to an adjustable digital whiteboard.
"It's been scary, I'm the type of person that is afraid to push any button," said Gallagher. "But I'm getting used to these things and I'm excited to see what else they can do."
Eventually, Superintendent Frank Tiano hopes to equip every classroom in the district with versions of the technology through the district's technology capital improvement plan, but this specific set of ADA-compliant items was donated by Pro AV Systems as a way to give back to a man who helped many of its employees.
"All of my kids benefited from him and many of our installers had him as a coach and mentor," said Pro AV co-owner Les Bishop. "When we heard that Tommy was going to be returning to the classroom, we saw the opportunity to give back to him a system that might make it easier for him to continue to teach and mentor the next generation of students. He’s overcome a lot of obstacles and if we can help out in some small way, well, that’s what it’s really all about.”
Including Gallagher's classroom, currently there are approximately 12 to 14 classrooms in Chelmsford that have digital whiteboards to date.