Joe’s High School Days
Article from May 5th, 1992 edition of Jefferson County Journal…
Three Windsor High School students have won nearly $9,000 worth of computer hardware and software for their school.
The three boys didn’t beat out the rest of the high schools in their division by raising the most money or drawing the right number out of a hat or even running the fastest in a sporting event.
They won by using their minds to swiftly program a specific computer language in a head-to-head competition against computer whizzes from other school around Missouri.
The contest was sponsored by Hewlett Packard and help April 11 in St. Louis. Windsor’s prize winning program has been sent to compete against the 16 other regional winners from across the country and was judged May 2 in Cincinnati.
Windsor’s winning team included Rick Borage, Joe Svoboda and Ryan Hager, all 17 years old.
According to the boys’ computer teacher, Kirby Mirly, each member brings a different strength to the team.
“These three work really well together,” Mirly said. “They do a lot of programming on their own. To participate in this contest, the programmers were asked to program in a specific language. Since this was not the language they were competing in previously, I was concerned about how they would adopt.”
Working together, the three students succeeded.
“We worked as a team; we all did certain parts,” Hager said.
Borage, the son of Donna Staat of Barnhart, brings very strong mathematical and analytical skills to the group. Borage is also the fastest typist on the team, giving the group an advantage in speed.
In Mirly’s words, Svoboda, the son of Will and Kathy Svoboda of northern Jefferson County, is the team’s “free-thinker,” who leads the group through complex problems.
“He’s a free-wheeler; he won’t get stuck,” Mirly said.
Hager, the son of Raymond and Donna Hager of Barnhart, contributes a strong technical sense to the team.
“He is very DOS-oriented,” Mirly said. “He loves programming. He gives us the base.”
The three boys said they had competed in computer-programming tournaments before, buy agreed this was their most successful attempt.
“I personally feel the greatest accomplishment of these three students is that they have stayed together long enough to see the fruits of all their hard work,” Mirly said. “After two years of study and contests, I feel that these young men have learned a lot about programming and winning.”