After Jarrett Tyree saw how one elementary school in Nelson County was struggling to properly store students’ computers, he knew he had to help.
“Certain classrooms would just try to jury-rig something,” Jarrett said about laptop storage at Tye River Elementary school. “Overall, it was [a] safety and fire hazard.”
Cords were tangled up, laptops were stacked on top of one another, and in general not properly taken care of. Jarrett decided to focus his Eagle Scout project on a way to help Tye River store computers properly, to ensure their longevity because most are passed from grade level to grade level throughout the division. The 17-year-old Boy Scout in Troop #32 came up with the idea to build three wooden computer carts with wheels. The teachers could store the laptops properly and easily transport them around the school as needed.
At first, the goal was three computer carts, but funds received allowed for a total of six to be built. Jarrett estimated he spent between 30 and 35 hours total building the carts in time to have them done before school started on Aug. 7.
“We are just so thankful,” Tye River Elementary School Principal Marti Bradt said.
After turning 17 last November, Jarrett knew he had just one year to complete his Eagle Scout project and hope to achieve the prestigious rank that most individuals put high on their resume.
“The entire project has to be done by the time you turn 18,” Jarrett said.
That includes initial approval, which Jarrett received from Joe Dan Johnson the now-retired Director of Technology for the school division, creating a plan, presenting the plan in front of the troop committee, raising funds, completing the work, and finishing paperwork and a final presentation.
Jarrett raised the majority of the $860 needed for wood, wood stain, brushes, and other tools through donations and completed his project by hosting work days with his troop during their regular weekly Tuesday evening meetings. Jarrett said an important aspect of completing any Eagle Scout project is the leadership involved.
“It’s not only about building something; the idea is to plan and help lead others with something that will benefit the community. It’s supposed to help build leadership skills,” Jarrett said.
Jarrett said some challenges to building the computer carts included have to lead the troop of boys during work dates because they ranged in age from middle through high school and the level of detail the design required.
“Even after planning, there was a lot of improv throughout the process,” Jarrett said.
Bradt said Jarrett was a student at the school and he has done what she hopes all students learn to do during their time in the Nelson County Public School Division — recognize a problem and find a solution.
“The teachers are overjoyed. It solved a problem we were really struggling with. It’s made things much neater, more organized, and student friendly,” Bradt said. “It’s a win-win for everyone.”
Troop #32 Scout Master Greg Miller said Jarrett is a responsible, bright young man whom he’s known since Jarrett was in cub scouts.
“He’s indicative of what is good about scouting and what we try to encourage in our scout group,” Miller said.
Miller said Jarrett’s project fit the criteria an Eagle Scout project is required to meet financially, with manpower and hours needed, and because it benefits the community.
“It benefits the community and demonstrates what the scouting spirit is about,” Miller said.
Erin Conway covers Nelson County for The News & Advance. Reach her at (434) 385-5524.