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Whiz Kids: Ian Furr, a Self-Taught Technology Guru

The Memorial Middle School eighth grader works hard in the classroom and the community.

Whiz Kids: Ian Furr, a Self-Taught Technology Guru


If you ever have a glitch in your computer or a question about today’s technology, look no further than 14-year-old Southbury resident Ian Furr.

This Memorial Middle School eighth grader is a self-taught technology guru and is ready, willing and able to help anyone with computer-related dilemmas, be they fellow students, staff members or anyone at all.

Furr was recently awarded the coveted Superintendent’s Award by Dr. Frank Sippy for his all-around contribution to the school community in academics and student leadership and his outstanding community service.

Furr, an honors student for the last three years, is an officer in the student government at Memorial Middle School, where he uses his computer skills to help build and maintain the student-run website.

His contributions at the school also include the creation of the Earth Day Garden, where students planned and implemented a special garden at the school to help commemorate Earth Day last April.

He was also chosen to be a lab technician in the classroom, where he was able to assist the teacher and fellow students with science. He was also a member of the new sixth grade class that helped the fifth graders get acclimated and make the transition from elementary to middle school.

"Ian was a very hard worker in history and Language Arts class," said seventh grade Teacher James Walsh. "He worked well with his peers and was respected by all. He was very into technology and brought his passion and skills for technology into his work in both classes."

Much of Furr’s community service stems from his participation in Boy Scouts Troop 1607, where he helped out with the older Eagle Scout’s projects. His elbow grease helped erect a fence at on the O&G property.

Furr worked on several repairs to the Veterans of Foreign Wars facility where the troop has its meetings. Those included the refurbishment and subsequent painting of a basement and the addition of stairs.

Furr also worked on the jogging trail behind the , where he and fellow scouts clear out some debris. He is also an acolyte at the , where he helps at the altar and with the Sunday school program there.

"Scouts has helped teach me how to better work in groups," Furr said. "We learn leadership values -- things that make people better people."

And he takes that to every aspect of his young life.

But if you ask him, he’ll tell you it’s the help he can offer people in technology that is his strongest asset and most enjoyable way to spend time.

"Someday I want to be a computer programmer," Furr said, adding that he has already taught himself computer languages like C++ and Java Scripts. "My favorite thing to do outside school is be on the computer working on a project."

Those who know him recognize Furr’s interest in technology and commend him for it.

"In my experiences with Ian he has always been a very earnest, polite, and self-motivated young man," said MMS Teacher Mark Lefkovich. "He has a keen interest in technology and is always willing to volunteer to help a teacher or be involved in school activities."

His mother Karen said that aside from her son’s easy-going manner and strong social skills, his computer savvy is a real gift.

"People seek him out. He has helped teachers in the past as well," she said.  "Technology is just something that comes so naturally to him."

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