St. Mary’s School opens upgraded computer lab

   CORTLAND — Thanks to the generosity of an alumnus, St. Mary’s School is now technologically in the 21st century. Thirty new touch-screen computers fill a classroom that has been renamed the Joseph Buttino Memorial Computer Lab. It officially opened on Jan. 24.
   The funding for the computers came from grants and an endowment from 1941 St. Mary’s graduate Joseph Buttino. In addition to the new Acer Veriton computers, each teacher received a laptop. Brightlink Projector systems with RM Easyteach were installed in all classrooms first through sixth grade. The school also received three printers, new software and an upgraded internet service.  
   “Putting laptops into the teachers’ hands will allow for better communication with parents because it will give them complete access to our web-based school management system at all times. Technology at their fingertips will also foster their own proficiency,” said principal Denise Hall.  
   Third grade teacher and Technology Integration Specialist Sheila Guido added that the school is “integrating technology into all subject areas.” The use of the Brightlink Projector system allows for Powerpoint presentations and will enhance the educational experience.  
   Joseph Buttino was one of 12 children. He was musically talented and played piano and sang in the choir at St. Anthony’s Church. He was an honor student, band member, yearbook business manager and involved in intramural sports at St. Mary’s. While in high school he enjoyed making musicals. He served in Germany during World War II as a member of the Army. Buttino went to Cornell University where he earned his bachelor’s degree in Slavic Linguistics/Literature. He worked at Cornell for 56 years and retired in 2009. He passed away in 2010.  
      At the dedication ceremony, former principal Sister Harriet Hamilton, OSF, related how Joe gave the school $2,000 in 1992 for an education trust fund. He would add to his donation every year. He also kept track of the funds to be sure the money was being used the way he intended.  
   Father Lucian Urbaniak gave a special blessing at the lab. Students in first through sixth grades had typed notes or made posters for the ceremony by using the computers and printers. Many of Buttino’s family and friends were in attendance for the dedication. Student Council members Patrick Hartnett and Isabella Sprague commented how grateful they and the other students are for this generous gift. They spoke of how difficult it had been to learn to use computers when there were only one or two very old ones in a classroom. Now the entire class can go to the Buttino Lab and learn how to navigate computers.

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