It didn’t take long for a young James Aiani to show he had a knack for working with computers.
"When I was younger, I loved the fascination of taking apart computers, opening up the schematics and seeing where all the cables go," he said. "My parents told me at the age of 4, they bought a Best Buy computer. It was an HP. Brand new.
"And I put it all together at the age of 4, just looking at the schematics."
Aiani, 26, is not only a 2013 Viera High school graduate, he has worked at his alma mater as a technology associate for the past five years.
And for the second time in his career, he has been named Viera’s Employee of the Year.
"I’m honored and surprised for the second time," he said.
With the coronavirus pandemic creating a challenging situation for teachers and students, Aiani has played a vital role in the transition to having students both in the classroom and e-learning at home.
There have been some challenges in the technology infrastructure — broken webcams and older model laptops among them — but Aiani said everything has gone smoothly.
Of course, in the world of technology, you have to stay ever vigilant.
"The biggest challenge right now is making sure all the zooms are working for the e-learning students … just keeping up with the current technology," he said.
"The technology is changing so fast, our four-year-old laptops are becoming obsolete."
Viera principal Sarah Robinson praised Aiani for his ability to adapt to any situation.
"James Aiani is an excellent representative of Viera High School as the Employee of the Year," Robinson wrote in an email
"Mr. Aiani can fix any technology issues that you can create. Students, staff, parents, and our community are impacted by Mr. Aiani. He is quick, efficient, helpful, and always is able to problem solve and assist.
"In a year in which we are embracing blended learning and additional technology challenges, Mr. Aiani has stepped up and gone above and beyond to support our staff."
Getting a chance to do what he loves and to be able to do it at the same place where he once roamed the halls as a student has turned into an ideal situation for Aiani.
"I love it," he said. "I love coming to work every day. I love the Viera culture. We’re one big family there."