Jake Sarnecky wins 20 computers for schoolsBy T.S. Mills-Faraudo
When 10-year-old Jake Sarnecky found out he won 20 new computers for his school, he was stunned beyond words.
"I just thought, 'oh my god,'" said the fourth-grader at Rollingwood Elementary in San Bruno who won Microsoft Corp.'s Ultimate Windows Vista Celebration Sweepstakes for his school to receive a $25,000 computer makeover.
But Jake and his mom, Cindy Bell-Sarnecky, had mixed feelings about the prize. That's because Bell-Sarnecky, a teacher at Junipero Serra Elementary in the South San Francisco Unified School District, entered the sweepstakes at CompUSA hoping to win the computers for her own school. Instead, her son, who also entered, won the award for his school.
"Everybody called her a traitor," Jake said in regards to his mom's co-workers.
Last January, Bell-Sarnecky said her principal, Terry Gavin, asked all the teachers at the school to enter the sweepstakes so the school would have a good chance of winning.
When her son entered the drawing it didn't cross her mind that he may win. Then they received a letter from Microsoft in February that he could win the contest and finally in March it was confirmed.
"I'm really happy for Rollingwood, but it would have been nice for our school," said Bell-Sarnecky, who teaches second grade.
Rollingwood Principal Sandy Mikulik couldn't believe it when she first received the news from Bell-Sarnecky.
"It was almost too good to be true," she said.
The school had a choice between desktop or laptop computers, she said. They chose laptops, Mikulik said, because they want teachers to be able to use them with LCD projectors in their classes. This will allow them to project things on their computers to a larger surface in front of the class.
For example, in the science classes teachers can put CDs in the computers that will illustrate how to do experiments on a large screen, she said.
The computers also will come with Microsoft's new Windows Vista program and other educational software.
Rollingwood is among 34 public and private schools across the nation that won this sweepstakes held at Best Buy, Circuit City, CompUSA, J&R and Staples. The winners were selected by a random drawing in February.
Copyright ©2007 San Mateo County Times. Published 04/13/2007.