Max Bushong

Max Bushong, at the 1-to-1 Student Help Desk at Penn Manor High School, holds a copy of the book he helped write.

Max Bushong is a published author at age 15.

A sophomore at Penn Manor High School, he wrote a chapter in the new book “The Open Organization Guide for Educators” about his experience as a Help Desk apprentice for the high school’s 1-to-1 laptop program, according to a district news release.

The 241-page book was published in September by Red Hat, the world’s largest open-source software support company, to showcase open technology initiatives in education.

Penn Manor’s 1-to-1 program, offered in grades four through 12, runs on Linux, a free open-source software program that has saved Penn Manor about $1 million in software licensing fees over the past 10 years, the release noted, adding that Linux also enables students and teachers to tweak the software to meet their needs.

Max’s chapter focuses on working alongside Penn Manor’s technology staff to repair, update and service student laptops as part of a Help Desk apprenticeship course implemented to support the 1-to-1 program.

“The fact that my peers, teachers, and IT staff communicate and interact with me as if I worked for Penn Manor makes me feel like a valued and respected member of the school district,” Max writes. “The feeling of achievement when I fix a laptop or solve a computing problem is immense. An ‘A’ on a history paper can never compare.”

District technology director Charlie Reisinger also wrote a chapter detailing how the 1-to-1 program has “amplified student curiosity and learning freedom” at Penn Manor.

Reisinger was contacted by Red Hat to contribute a chapter, but he also wanted a student voice in the book, so he approached Max last spring about writing a chapter. He jumped at the opportunity, according to the release.

Max’s chapter went through five drafts with help from his English teacher Courtney Harting, Penn Manor technology staff members and Red Hat editors before it was ready to be published.

“I learned that it definitely takes a lot of time and effort to get everything down just right,” Max, whose chapter is the only one written by a high school student, said in the release.

When the book came out, Max said, “it hit me that, wow, now I’m an author.

“Just to see your name in print, it’s a really cool experience at such a young age.”

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