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UPDATE: Maple Ridge student wins silver in Microsoft Office World Championships

Karrah Parke and Alexander Ratner, Thomas Haney secondary school, qualified for the competition.
The 2017 Microsoft Office Specialist championships in Anaheim. From left to right: Ian Chao, Alexander Ratner, Abhiraj Virk, Karrah Parke, Noah Stelting. (CONTRIBUTED)

Two Maple Ridge students have proven themselves to be the top Microsoft Office users in Canada, and one has placed second in the world championships.

Both students won the Microsoft Office Specialist Canada competition and flew to Orlando, Florida on July 29 to compete in the world championships.

Karrah Parke, Thomas Haney Graduate, won silver in Microsoft PowerPoint 2016 at the world championships.

Parke was the only Canadian student to place in the championships. Second-place winners are awarded $3,500, a medal of achievement and a winner’s certificate.

Parke and Alexander Ratner, graduates from Thomas Haney secondary, took a course with teacher Todd Goodman that offered them the opportunity to get certified as a Microsoft Office Specialist, at no charge.

Ratner said he was always interested in tech and is pursuing a degree in computer science at Simon Fraser University.

“I’m into the tech stuff, so it’s useful to have the courses, otherwise they cost a lot.”

Both Ratner and Parke went to the world championships last year in Anaheim. Neither student placed for a prize last year, but both said the championships were different than they had expected and felt more prepared this year.

“The format was different from the other tests, the way it’s presented, it’s so different than what I was used to. I did a lot more preparation this year for it,” said Parke.

“I had a great time and learned a lot. I didn’t expect the test to be so different, I wasn’t prepared for the format. It’s a lot of pressure, all these people in the same room that are as qualified or better than you,” Ratner added.

During the certification exams, each student is entered into the Microsoft Office Specialist competition. The students who score with the highest completion, accuracy and speed is a Canadian winner. Ratner competed in Microsoft Word, and Parke competed in Microsoft PowerPoint at the world championships.

The qualifying certification exam consists of timed, hands-on programming of Microsoft Office software. During the certification exam, the computer locks into an Office document and gives a list of criteria to complete within a 45-60 minute time frame.

Parke completed the exam with 100 per cent accuracy in just two minutes and 53 seconds.

The students competed in the PowerPoint and Word categories for a first-place prize of $7,000, second-place prize of $3,500 and a third-place prize of $1,500.

The student trip to Orlando is funded by CCI Learning, an education technology company that provides the coursework and certification exams for Microsoft Office learning.

The World Championships had over 150 people from around the world registered to compete for the championship title.

About the Author: Black Press Media Staff

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