Gavin Guynes


A Tablet PC with WIFI—that's 28-year-old Gavin Guynes' current favorite piece of the technology pie. Excitement spilled over as he explained: "There's no keyboard. You use a pen to draw and write on it. And it recognizes my handwriting—I write horribly, too." It'll even recognize his voice, minus the Mississippi drawl.

Having such an item at his disposal comes naturally to the young man whose day-to-day job is saturated with technology. Guynes, who grew up in Jackson and Madison and graduated from St. Andrews in 1995—where he played football, baseball and cello in the string quartet—is Jackson Public School's director of information services, responsible for 25 employees and boocoodles of computers. Plus, he teaches systems maintenance at Holmes and is working on yet another technology certification—MCSE—to go with A+, CCNA and MCSA. (Hey, it's all geek to me.)

Guynes might seem young to head up that department, but he said his strong points—the ability to remain even-keeled, calm and collected—make keeping people happy with their computers a challenge he feels he handles well. "Things come my way that I can't get flustered about. I have to handle them in a professional way and not jump to conclusions," Guynes explained.

Technology doesn't stand still, either. "Stuff I learned a year ago doesn't apply any more," he said, grinning first at me and then at his wife, Laura Beth. Then he smiled shyly and admitted, "The job is kinda stressful. My wife bought a cello stand for me for my birthday." He finds playing the cello relaxing. And he counts himself lucky to enjoy the people he works for and with. "I love kids. To see them happy or doing something worthwhile means a lot, too," Guynes said.

He has been fixing things since he was a little boy—the VCR at 5, the Sears dishwasher at 6. Today Guynes is envious of the sort of technology his 17-year-old brother Garrett takes for granted, like a phone that's a PDA. If Guynes were 17 again, he'd be asking for one for Christmas.

Asked to pretend that it's 2012 and he and Laura Beth are the parents of 6-year-old twins, Guynes postulated on the state of computers and technology. "Of course, they'll be faster and cost less." Like a seer, Guynes gazed into the future, "[T]here will be a toy that will listen to you talk to it, then it will respond, have a real conversation, not a scripted one."


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