Harding leaves Ames High after four dedicated years

Next fall, when the future students walk into the Media Center, excited for the new school year, there will be something missing. No, it will not be the comfortable new chairs or even the new café-esque tables. That something will actually be Media Technologist Nicole Harding. After nine years with the district, four of those years at the high school, Harding has decided to resign from her position in the Media Center. “I’m ready to do something different with my life,” Harding said. Although she is not yet sure what her future will bring, she plans on keeping her options open and taking a few DMACC courses to help with whatever her future may entail. She is sure that she will miss the students and the staff at Ames High School, but feels that her years here have been filled with experiences she can carry with her forever. “I cry at every graduation,” Harding said. “It’s always bittersweet to see my babies grow up. I’m sad to see them go. At the same time, I feel so proud.” Harding has had a profound effect on the students of Ames High. “I’ve never had a problem that Mrs. Harding has not been able to solve,” junior Luke Stephenson said. “She’s like magic.” Harding’s interest in computers began during her high school years, an interest that was not initially supported by her father. “I wanted to take a computer language class in high school,” she said. “But my dad made me take sewing instead. He didn’t think computers would ever be used by the common man.” Harding temporarily put aside her computer-related ambitions and sewing needles for college. She graduated from Smith College with a degree in American Government and Constitutional Law with the intention of becoming a lawyer. Eventually, Harding began to substitute at Sawyer Elementary, where she rediscovered her technological ambitions. “One day I subbed in the media center, and I fell in love with the computers there,” she said. “Before then, I had never used a Mac before, and ever since I have been incredibly interested in solving the puzzles of computers.” After working at Sawyer for five years, Harding was transferred to Ames High School to be the media technologist. She currently updates the school website on a regular basis, troubleshoots software, runs the sound and light crew during the day, and is the “chief shusher” in the media center. “My favorite part of working with computers is being able to solve the tricky problems they sometimes present,” Harding said. “It’s a really great feeling when I am able to fix problems no one else can figure out.” With only a few days left for students, Harding is getting ready to say her final goodbyes. “These last few days are going to be very emotional,” she said. “I’m going to miss the high school and the media center, and the computers. But most of all, I’m going to miss all the students and staff that have made these eight years memorable. Thank you.”