We Are L.A. Unified

Before Mike Sinclair was fixing computer problems at Bravo Medical Magnet High School, he was fixing them at schools in southern Italy.

In the early 1990s, Mike and his wife traveled to Italy to teach. They ended up staying in the country for eight years before coming in 1999 to Bravo.

Along with teaching “just about every grade level and subject matter,” Mike, fluent in Italian, offered tech support when needed. In that role, the 1978 graduate of L.A. Unified’s Verdugo Hills High School learned to be adaptable and flexible, skills which have served him well as Bravo’s technology coordinator.

“I’m in charge of many things that you plug in,” he said.

At the top of that list are Bravo’s more than 800 devices, which are located throughout the school and in six separate computer labs. Mike works along with his full-time assistant, Danny Nigo, to keep the system running well. Having a skilled tech team on campus is critical.

“We deal a lot with District filters,” said Mike, “things on the network that cause functionality problems.” Security is also a major concern; he and Danny lock the devices and take steps to protect software from devastating viruses.

Mike also spends his days writing grant proposals to develop new and innovative career pathways for students. He is hoping to receive a grant from the California Department of Education to integrate Science Technology Engineering Math (STEM) curriculum with media arts.

Also taking up his time nowadays is getting the campus computers ready for new testing. Recently, during a new round of Smarter Balanced tests that measure a students’ understanding of the Common Core State Standards in math and English, the school’s computers performed exceedingly well, before an audience that included the media.

The purpose was to identify any issues that needed addressing before the Smarter Balanced testing started this spring. Few were found.

“Danny and I prepared all day, every day,” said Mike.

To nominate a teacher, student, employee or volunteer, send an email to Thomas.Waldman@lausd.net, or call 213-241-6766. To see more profiles on the District's website, go to http://bit.ly/1Fp25bG