2020 Community Report: IT Network Modernization Fund

November 01, 2020

Ocallahan Yir

Supplemental content for our 2020 Community Report's "Academic Year In Review"

Created in 2016, the five-year IT Network Modernization Fund will be completed in the 2020-2021 school year, finishing its work of bringing crucial internet access into schools.

With COVID-19 sending schools into remote or hybrid learning, internet access is more critical than ever, as teachers record lessons or stream them live straight from their classrooms. Without steady internet access, this new form of learning would not be possible.

Before the program’s inception in 2015, less than five percent of schools in the Archdiocese of Seattle had adequate wireless internet access. Now, every archdiocesan school meets the minimum industry standard for internet connection speed.

Jan O’Callahan, a Fulcrum trustee, and her husband, Tom, oversaw every aspect of the project, from championing funding to managing installation. Paul Wyckoff, who joined the team in 2018, brought technical expertise with IT infrastructure, streamlining the design process and driving down costs.

Under the O’Callahans’ leadership, Fulcrum funded grant requests from 43 different schools, provided 700 classrooms with high-performance wireless access points, and installed 12 miles of network cable.

“Where would we be without Tom and Jan?” said Kristin Dixon, the superintendent for Catholic schools. “We are so grateful. Five years ago, Tom and Jan discerned the system-wide need and answered a higher call! All of us in the Office for Catholic schools ... are so very grateful for this mighty couple, whose willingness to roll up their sleeves created solutions for the myriad of technology questions. Our Archdiocese of Seattle Catholic schools are forever changed and hugely improved because of Tom and Jan’s long-term vision and daily hard work.”