Georgia TSA logoOn March 10-12, 2011 at the Classic Center in Athens, Georgia, J House’s own Jason Long and Jeremy Minnick participated as judges in the 49th Annual Technology Student Association State Conference.

Georgia TSA’s yearly leadership development program and events afford students many opportunities that go above and beyond the everyday classroom and laboratory tasks. These opportunities allow students to increase their knowledge and understanding of this dynamic world of technology.

Jeremy explains, “TSA promotes technology in schools and provides a fun way to get involved with subjects that aren’t always available to teach in the classroom.” Jason adds, “The members of TSA are the future technology workers and leaders of the world.” The importance of this conference in particular is clear: TSA allows students to get a taste of the real world by inviting professionals from various industries to come judge the competition. Not only are these middle and high school students exposed to some challenges that they will undoubtedly come across in the industry, but their work is held to a professional standard, pushing students to be creative and innovative beyond what they could imagine. “Through this kind of system they get a glimpse of what will eventually be expected of them on a day-to-day basis, and I think that carries a lot of value,” mentions Jason.


Both Jason and Jeremy were invited to judge by friends in the area – Jason through Dr. Johns in the Adopt-A-Class program in Athens-Clarke County – and Jeremy through a local teacher. Neither Jason nor Jeremy had attended or judged the TSA competition before, so it was a new experience for both of them. They judged a few categories: High School Webmasters, Career Prep, and Promotional Graphics. The criteria for judging were set by the association, although each individual judge had their own ideas of what made a “winner.” In regards to the Webmaster and Promotional Graphics competitions, it was evident that the plan and purpose of each student’s project was often more important and impressive than the execution itself, which can be expected from students with little experience outside of the classroom. Jeremy continued, “I didn’t focus as much on the ‘look’ of the site as much as the intent. To be really good at something you have to seek to understand it and then apply what you think you’ve learned.” The Career Prep competition was more straightforward as the judges were given very specific guidelines to follow for evaluating the students’ presentations. “We chose students who did professional level work – who had exceptional ideas and were able to execute them well,” said Jason.

Jason and Jeremy both enjoyed seeing how students came up with their ideas and how they were executed. As professionals in the technology industry and new judges, Jason and Jeremy were able to listen intently and provide helpful feedback. “There were a few very bright students with some fantastic ideas,” stated Jason. As mentioned before, these students are going to make up the future of the technology world – this competition is just a preview of what’s in store.

For more information and a list of the winners, visit