Fayette student tops national Microsoft contest

A Fayette County High School student is the best in the nation at Microsoft PowerPoint 2010.

Jake Ruiz, 17, recently won first place at the Microsoft Office Specialist National Competition in Park City, Utah, and represented the U.S. during the Microsoft Office Specialist Worldwide Competition in Washington, D.C., July 31 to Aug. 3.

Ruiz was one of six finalists out of more than 140,000 students from across the country who entered the U.S. competition to demonstrate their skills at Microsoft desktop computing applications. Finalists took timed exams and conducted interviews to prove their expertise.

“We are incredibly proud of Jake. He is a shining example of what our students can accomplish with the Microsoft IT Academy classes being offered at many Georgia high schools,” State School Superintendent Dr. John Barge said. “We are committed to giving students like Jake the skills they need to be ready for whatever they want to do after high school, whether that be college or a career.”

Fayette County High School began offering MOS certification one year ago as part of the Administration and Information Support Pathway.

“Jake was a natural and aced the PowerPoint exam on his first try, but the real value lies in the way certification validates his knowledge of this important business software program,” said Jennifer Metcalfe, business education instructor at Fayette County High School. “I was not surprised Jake did so well in the competition – he is a leader and has an aptitude for technology. Certification has given him the confidence to pursue technology as a profession.”

Through Microsoft IT Academy, Georgia’s more than 460 high schools have access to classroom lab licensing, e-learning content, lesson plans and projects, digital textbooks, teacher resources and professional development. In addition, the 460,000 high school students in Georgia’s public schools can earn industry-recognized certifications from Microsoft that will serve as proof of their skills help them pursue careers in business, technology, engineering, science and beyond.

The Microsoft IT Academy aims to provide students with real-world technology skills to help them thrive in the 21st century economy by bridging the world of education and work. So far, 230 high schools have signed on to the program.

Georgia was the sixth state in the U.S. last year to broadly roll out the program, joining more than 15,000 Microsoft IT Academies in 160 countries across the globe.



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