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Legacy Students Explore Cybersecurity

Students at Taylor ISD’s Legacy Early College High School are able to expand their technical skills with a program in cybersecurity. The online opportunity offers five classes that allow students to earn a level 1 certificate. Seniors Beau Bollinger, Sergio Ibarra and Cade Shirocky shared some of their experiences with the program they started last year.


“The first course was hardware oriented,” said Shirocky. “So, we learned the parts of the computer and how they work. Then we learned how a network works and how it connects to different devices.”


From there, students say the content of the coursework grew more interesting and complex.


“We actually had a really cool project where we got to build a computer inside of a computer,” said Ibarra. “It was a really fun software where you start out with a computer and you are told to break it down into its most basic components, and then you were given the instructions to build it back by yourself. Another project involved putting a software computer inside of our physical computer so we were able to run two operating systems at the same time.”


Principal Erika Cantwell said the program is offered through TSTC and will allow students to go right into the workforce after graduation, pursuing a job in cybersecurity if that is what they want to do.


“Earning a certificate gives them an advantage right out of high school,” said Cantwell. “They can get an entry level job in a cybersecurity career if they want to. They could also use it as a stepping stone into the career that they want or the degree they want to pursue after that. They are learning skills that will give them that advantage compared to someone who is not familiar with computers and systems.”


Bollinger said he has enjoyed working with computers for a long time, and has built computers for himself and other family members. Now, he is expanding his knowledge and skills and learning more about the software.

“I’ve really learned a lot about building a Wi-Fi network, how different computers connect to each other, and just the basics of how the internet actually works as well as physical connections like Ethernet,” said Bollinger. “I thought that was really cool because that’s how everyone is connecting now days.”


As Legacy students work to earn a college associate’s degree by the time they graduate from high school, the cybersecurity certificate through TSTC is another option for study that will prepare them for life after high school


“We’re trying to prepare our students to go into the world, ready with qualifications and this is just an additional skill set that we can have them leave Taylor ISD with, just another avenue for them to get further along in life,” Cantwell said. “They are making themselves marketable to go out into the world and do great things.”


For more information about Legacy Early College High School and the opportunity for students to earn a college associate’s degree at no cost to families, please visit, then click on Campuses, Legacy Early College High School.