Area Schools Aim to Deter Violence, Vandalism, Theft With Surveillance and Security Improvements

Nebraska surveillance

Locally owned MTSP delivers peace of mind, school safety with cutting-edge AVS products


COLUMBUS, Nebr. – August 2018 – Applied Connective, a local managed technology service provider (MTSP), is well-known to area businesses for delivering expert IT, voice and infrastructure solutions, but as their cutting-edge access control and surveillance systems are becoming increasingly popular in school settings, they can add “school safety” and “peace of mind” to the list of comforts they provide customers.

In a day and age where school violence splashes across headlines at an alarming rate, a growing number of area of schools are adopting a proactive and preemptive approach by upgrading their campus security systems and making school safety and crime deterrence a higher priority.

“We’re seeing an upsurge in local businesses—particularly schools—deciding to invest more in security technologies that prove to deter criminal conduct and keep their premises safe,” says Applied Connective President Ed Knott. “While our focus has traditionally been on managed IT services, we’re thrilled to see school administrators appreciating the value, safety and peace of mind our security technologies provide.”

Schools like Howells-Dodge, Scribner-Snyder, Leigh, Boyd County, Cross County, Burwell, Central Valley, Twin River, Boone Central and Palmer, among others, have all worked with Applied Connective in the recent past on various security initiatives, from small projects like installing bus cameras to full-fledged multi-campus infrastructure and security overhauls.

With years of combined voice and AVS (audio, video, surveillance) experience, Applied Connective (Albion, Columbus, Fullerton) has become the regional authority in designing, installing and configuring video surveillance equipment, access control and intercom and communication systems. These are the three key components to an airtight security plan, according to Knott.


“For effective unified campus security, our team starts by installing access control (door locks) at entry points to regulate and police access to the premises. This also affords schools the ability to lock down all doors at a moment’s notice, which can prove critical in an emergency, as well as go back and review who was in the building and at what times. The second key component is the surveillance system, which allows administrators to monitor the entire campus from a central location. Surveillance cameras are also a proven-effective system of checks and balances, as studies show that the mere presence of cameras is often enough to deter crime. It also affords the school the vital luxury of going back and reviewing footage when necessary. Finally, unified voice solutions allow for constant contact and immediate communication throughout the campus in the event of an emergency.”


Superintendent Amy Malander of Central Valley Public Schools (Scotia, Greeley, North Loup, Wolbach) is just one of the company’s happy customers. She reports that the school has already been thrilled with their new multi-campus surveillance and access control systems—both in the buildings and on the buses—and has high hopes for the benefits these upgrades will have on the safety and well-being of staff, students and visitors.

“Surveillance cameras and access control in schools are worth every penny,” says Malander. “The safety of our students and staff is of the utmost importance, and having a state-of-the-art surveillance system in place has already helped us in more ways than one. Being able to review surveillance footage has been invaluable. It has allowed us to take reactive measures when necessary to ascertain offenders and gather accurate details in the event of an incident, instead of relying on eye witness accounts. Even more importantly, though,” Malander continues, “we think this is a very proactive step. We expect to see a sharp decrease in these types of incidents to begin with, as students are less likely to engage in bullying, theft, vandalism, trespassing and other misconduct when they know they are being monitored.”

Malander concludes, “I feel it is our obligation as faculty members to invest in school safety and security. Many people pass through our doors every day, from staff and students to visiting teams using our locker rooms and facilities for sporting competitions. I think the simple fact that we now have a surveillance system to monitor conduct on our premises will deter crime and make everyone inside our doors think twice about the actions they take. While we didn’t really have a big problem with behavioral issues before, we certainly anticipate an even more safe and positive environment for all those who come to CVPS.”

Knott, who co-founded the company in 2004 as an MTSP focused primarily on IT and business phone systems, is thrilled to have evolved into a leading provider of these services. “While these are far from the only services we provide at Applied Connective, we do take tremendous pride in our industry-leading security technologies and systems. Nothing could be more important than the well-being of those we live and work with, so we consider it an enormous privilege to be able to offer safety and peace of mind to the communities we work with.”

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Kory Bourek

IT Support Specialist

Kyle Oldenkamp

Relationship Manager

Shelby James

IT Support Specialist in the Panhandle

Mandy Luettel

Director of Growth & Development

Noah Burwell

IT Support Specialist

Chase Gragg

IT Support Specialist

Vaughn Finkral

IT Support Specialist

Ron Leimser

IT Support Specialist

Jill Petsche

IT Support Specialist

Nevan Hoffman

IT Support Specialist

Lacey Henn

Administrative Assistant

Andrew Grupp

IT Support Specialist

Heath Murray

IT Support Specialist

Will Frey

AVS Technician

Konnor Gibson

IT Systems Specialist

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Kenley Silhacek

Senior IT Systems Engineer

Mason Uhing

IT Support Specialist

Faith Nunn

IT Support Specialist

Kara Frey

Administrative Assistant

Brandi Lueninghoener

IT Support Specialist

“Lakeview Community Schools has enjoyed our partnership with Applied Connective. They have been incredibly responsive, knowledgeable, and cooperative as we have worked together. Applied Connective has provided a team-like atmosphere in their service!”

Aaron Plas, Superintendent

Lakeview Community Schools

“We have been very pleased with their communication, efficiency, and customer service over the course of the last few years. We would highly recommend ACT to any other schools out there looking for a reliable partner for your technology needs.”

Brandon Detlefsen, Technology Director

Central City Public Schools

“Their service is always reliable and timely, and the staff are very knowledgeable and friendly. Our needs are their #1 priority! Boone Central is beyond grateful to have top-of-the line technology services and customer support.”

Nicole Hardwick, Superintendent

Boone Central Public Schools

“They’ve been with us every step of the way as we implemented phone systems, security cameras, and keypad doors. Their customer service is second to none, and their business knowledge is outstanding.”

Ronda Weber, Technology Coordinator

Burwell Public School

Applied Connective did an amazing job with our school security cameras. They were very professional and easy to work with. [They’re] patient with our questions and quickly respond when we need some direction. The cameras work great and are very easy to access. Thank you for a job well done!”

Amy Sokol, Principal

St. Anthony's School

Lance Bain

Voice Technician

Brigitte Burbach

HR Manager

Clay Anderson

IT Support Specialist

Brandon Petersen

Relationship Manager & IT Engineer

Relationship Manager/IT Engineer – I work side by side with our clients to ensure they are receiving the best value from our products and services, offer insights to improve their workflows, and resolve any issues that may arise as fast as possible.

Logan Niewohner

IT Systems Specialist

Justin Borgmann

Level 1 IT Technician

As a level 1 IT Technician, I assist customers in their daily IT needs, and respond to any issues that may arise.

Bryce Molt

Level 1 IT Technician

As a Level 1 IT Technician, I provide general help desk support for clients.

Weston Ray


Casey Schalk

AVS Technician

My role as a general technician at Applied Connective is primarily to work with the AVS crew to install and configure surveillance, internet, security, and voice technologies.

Grady Higgins

IT Support Specialist

Eric Beckman

AVS Project Foreman

Kris Wright

General Technician

My role as General Technician includes installation and troubleshooting of door access and camera security systems.

Mikki Mangus

General Accountant

Some of my duties as General Accountant include payroll, accounts receivable, accounts payable and reconciliation. I am happy that I am part of the Applied Connective Team.

Heidi Kahlo

IT Technician

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Eric Petsche

General Technician

My role as a general technician at Applied Connective is primarily to work with the AVS crew to install and configure surveillance, security, Internet, and voice technologies.

Kelsi Funk

IT Systems Specialist

Chase Thieman

AVS Technician

My role as an AVS technician at Applied Connective is to work with the AVS team to install and configure surveillance, security, internet, and voice technologies.

Cody Banzhaf

IT Manager

Eric Henn

Voice Technician

My job is to do whatever Ed tells me to. Just kidding…sort of. I am part of the voice group.

Alex Herstedt

Telecom / IT Technician

As a Telecom/IT Technician, I work with traditional and hosted phone systems.

Scott Whaley

Level 2 IT Technician

I’m part of the IT team at Applied Connective, so my days are spent setting up new PCs for customers; troubleshooting broken PCs, printers, etc., and installing new hardware.  

Jessi Larson

Creative & Marketing

I’m in charge of creative content development and marketing here at Applied Connective—advertising, design, copywriting, website management, PR, and social media as well as coordinating philanthropy efforts.

Matt Childress

Relationship Manager

Sara Rasmussen

IT Service Manager

Nathan Niewohner

IT Project Manager

Justin Niewohner

AVS Project Manager

I install surveillance, security, Internet, phone, and audio systems to fit our customers’ needs.

Ryan Robinson

AVS Service Technician

I provide and coordinate technical services and support for infrastructure, access control, surveillance, and audio/video solutions.

Jarod Dendinger

VP of Business Development

My role here at Applied Connective centers on business development, so that involves assisting our team in focusing on value-added processes as well as leveraging technology to provide solutions for our business partners that support them in continued success and growth.

Will Zoucha

VP of Operations

Ed Knott


As President at Applied Connective, I am responsible for organizational direction and general oversight of all product/service areas.