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Hero 1996: Mike Fornander

Teacher turned educational techie

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A decade ago, Mike Fornander was teaching the importance of reading, writing and 'rithmetic to a classroom full of fifth-graders. Well-liked and happy in his chosen profession, he couldn't imagine himself anywhere else. So, he was just as surprised as anyone when, after completing a year's training on the products available for bringing high-tech teaching aids into schools, he accepted a position with the company--Data Projections--from whom he'd received the training.

Fornander said he misses teaching, but enjoys creating, installing and servicing, interactive products for businesses, homes and classrooms. He says it gives him a sense of accomplishment he was used to getting as an educator. Among other products, his company provides schools with SMARTboards, an increasingly popular multimedia whiteboard that allow teachers to jot notes, brainstorm and enter information that they can save for later. He still lives in Boise with his wife, who is a teacher, and their two children, ages 1 and 4.

--AA

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