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Turpin has held numerous roles in Gainesville, Hall County schools
Aaron Turpin, 39, has been the executive director of information technology for the Hall County school system for about one year. His responsibilities include the implementation of instructional technology in the classroom. - photo by SARA GUEVARA

Meet your government

Every Monday The Times takes a look at one of the people who keeps local governments running smoothly.

Fifteen years ago, Aaron Turpin moved to Hall County and spent his days teaching Gainesville High School band students the ins and outs of Sousa marches.

He then moved on to Hall County schools, where he served as the principal of C.W. Davis Middle School for six years and then principal of Lyman Hall Elementary School for two years. About a year ago, he was phased into his new position as the executive director of information technology for Hall County schools.

"I was very involved with teaching and learning and curriculum as a band director, and I wanted to make a difference on a school level, so that’s why I went from a band director to an assistant school principal," Turpin said. "The effective utilization of instructional technology is something that I’ve always been active in."

As a principal at Lyman Hall Elementary, Turpin introduced the faculty to the idea of using interactive white boards in the classroom. As technology director, he facilitated the implementation of 223 white boards, which serve as online digital chalkboards, in various Hall County schools.

Turpin, a father of two, is responsible for overseeing all the technology in the school system, including the approximately 8,000 computers in the school system. He’s also responsible for the department’s $3.79 million technology budget, which manages the school system’s financial, transportation, information, food service and instructional technology programs.

His passion, however, lies in the instructional technology realm.

Turpin said he believes technology will become increasingly integrated into our lives. He said he wants to facilitate and be a part of creating an environment where the boys and girls of Hall County have access to technology and teachers have access to and training for the integration of technology into instruction.

"It’s kind of like the World Language Academy," he said of the system’s instructional approach to technology. "We don’t teach Spanish. We teach in Spanish. ... We don’t teach technology. We teach with technology."

Turpin said it’s important that kids be exposed to the latest technology while they’re in schools, because the technology of today likely will become nearly obsolete within 10 years.

Turpin said outside of his job, he enjoys playing the trumpet and balances his time between his family and his faith. He has two daughters, Anna, 3, and Kennedy, 6.

"What I enjoy doing right now is spending time with my two girls and my wife," he said. "Right now, we do a whole lot with Disney princesses. They most definitely have a favorite. It’s Belle, every night and every day."