BEST CISCO SCHOOL IN EUROPE
Boys Town Jerusalem has been granted Cisco’s Above and Beyond Award for 2019 as the best Cisco Networking Academy in the entire European region.
The first Cisco Networking Academy in the Middle East
Nearly 20 years ago, Boys Town Jerusalem inaugurated the very first Cisco Networking Academy in the Middle East. Designed to teach students cutting-edge technology skills, the academy has opened the gateway for hundreds of Boys Town Jerusalem graduates to the leading positions they now hold in the Israeli Army and hi-tech sector.
The winning partnership between Boys Town Jerusalem and the Cisco Systems global networking and communications giant was sparked in 2000 by Mr. Josh Weston, then-CEO of Automatic Data Processing (ADP) and honorary chairman of Boys Town Jerusalem Foundation of America, Inc. Thanks to the school’s top-notch computer laboratories and outstanding record of technological achievement, Cisco tapped BTJ to pioneer the Cisco Network Management Program, whose intensive high school curriculum grooms students for careers in building and maintaining sophisticated computer networks.
From innovative teachers to successful students
“In the early years, educators from across the world flocked to Boys Town Jerusalem to get a firsthand look at our Cisco Networking Academy,” recalls Shlomo Serok, who has headed and nurtured the academy since its inception. Serok, who was named by the Ministry of Education as Israel’s best Computer Science & Networking Teacher for 2019, is renowned for demanding the highest achievements from his students while voluntarily tutoring weak students during after-school hours. One his greatest challenges over the Cisco Academy’s two decades was to teach computer science to new immigrant students from Ethiopia. “I had to start by giving them a background in nearly everything,” he said. “With time, I watched them not only understand but also thrive.”
Today’s challenge is to cultivate BTJ’s Cisco Networking Academy students to meet the demands of special high-level IDF Cisco units. “The Academy’s international curriculum is quite difficult for most of our students, primarily those who grapple with poverty and strife at home,” says Shlomo Serok. “But as long as they’re motivated to succeed, we can give them the finest tools.”
In granting Boys Town Jerusalem the prestigious “Above and Beyond Award,” the Cisco Network Academy Team cited the school’s positive community impact, innovation and leadership. “The real prize is the opportunity to enable young men to make outstanding contributions towards improving the present and future,” Serok proudly stated.