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Klobuchar educated on Sebeka’s Smart Rural Community efforts

Sebeka band instructor Dave Kerkvliet demonstrates a computer program for U.S. senator Amy Kloubachar during her visit Tuesday afternoon to the Wadena County school. Klobuchar was in Sebeka to hear about broadband technology in rural areas and spoke with West Central Telephone Association CEO Tony Mayer, WCTA board president Bruce Kinnunen, WCTA information specialist Pam Mahling and Sebeka superintendent Dave Fjeldheim.

U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar was in Sebeka April 22 to honor West Central Telephone Association (WCTA) and the communities it serves for recently receiving the National Telecommunications Cooperative Association “Smart Rural Community” award.

Kloubachar visited Sebeka School to learn first-hand about some of the innovative ways the school is using its broadband to be a smarter rural community.

According to Sebeka Superintendent Dave Fjeldheim, the school now has wireless connectivity throughout the entire building by upgrading from a 1 gig backbone to a 10 gig backbone and installing several Wi-Fi access points. iPads are used in the elementary and Chrome Books are used in the high school with cloud-based storage through Google Chrome and Google Drive. The school also offers online college classes. Several Sebeka students will have in the neighborhood of 40 college credits completed by the end of the school year.  A few teachers gave demonstrations on how they use iPads, Word Press and SMART Boards in the classroom.

WCTA General Manager Tony Mayer told Kloubachar  that the cooperative business model requires that all money made be either reinvested in the infrastructure or returned in capital credits.