Washington State High School Setting the Standard for Success

Walla Walla High School MOS Washington State Champions (L-R): Andrew Harvey, Aaron Page, Andrew Dutton, and Mary Grace McKeirnan

In Walla Walla, Washington, a high school is setting the standard for success and producing Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) champions.

Walla Walla High School is one of the premier high schools in Southeastern Washington and is recognized for its profound impact on student learning by the Washington Department of Education*. During the recent 2015 MOS Washington State Championship, Walla Walla High School produced a total of 6 MOS Washington State Champions with 4 of those students placing first in MOS 2013 and MOS 2010 certification exams:

  • Mary McKeirnan, first place, Excel 2013
  • Aaron Page, first place, Word 2010
  • Andrew Harvey, first place, Excel 2010
  • Andrew Dutton, first place, PowerPoint 2010
  • Mackenzie Harting, second place, Word 2013
  • Andrew Dutton, third place, Word 2013
  • Hannah Cabasco, third place, PowerPoint 2013

The 4 students who placed first qualified to represent Washington State in the MOS U.S. Championships in Orlando, Florida on June 18-20, 2015, while the other winners have won custom prizes and the recognition as MOS Washington State Champions.

The success of these students are thanks to the efforts and dedication of the Washington State Microsoft IT Academy initiative, Walla Walla High School, and Walla Walla Business Education teacher Gay Buissink.

“When I first starting offering Microsoft Office Specialist certification in the fall of 2011, it really revolutionized the class. It is one thing to think students were learning skills, but it is another to validate that learning when the students achieve an internationally recognized certification”, says Buissink who is incredibly proud of her students’ achievements.

When asked how her students feel about Microsoft IT Academy and achieving industry recognized MOS certifications, Buissink states her students have gained self-confidence especially when they pass a difficult certification exam.

“It is really exciting when a score comes up and the word ‘PASS’ is displayed. Digging in and learning something in depth is so rewarding” says Buissink on witnessing her students taking the certifications exams.

As for the students, all have stated the value of Microsoft IT Academy and becoming certified in Microsoft Office Specialist.

“It’s helped me gain confidence with the Microsoft programs and I think it’s very valuable to be able to say you are Microsoft certified on a job application”, says Andrew Harvey, MOS Excel 2010 Washington State Champion.

“The Microsoft IT Academy has helped me learn more about Microsoft Office programs and the knowledge I gained will be valuable in the future”, states Mary Grace McKeirnan, MOS Excel 2013 Washington State Champion.

We recognize the hard work of the champions from Walla Walla High School. They have done an outstanding job and proven that they can compete at a national level.

UPDATE: In the recent Microsoft Office Specialist U.S. National Championship, Andrew Dutton placed 2nd place in PowerPoint 2010.

For more information of the Microsoft IT Academy and how it can be implemented at your school, contact CCI Learning and we’d be more than happy to help.


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