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3 Students to Compete in International Competition
IT Academy participants will go to Washington, D.C.

OLYMPIA — July 3, 2013 — Three Washington state students, all from Kalama High School, will compete in an international competition later this month.

Juniors Morgan VanRiper and James Willman, and sophomore Brady Harmon each took first place at a national competition for students in the Microsoft IT Academy.

The IT Academy helps students attain industry recognized certification in a variety of Microsoft technologies.

The three students competed in the Future Business Leaders of America-Phi Beta Lambda competition in Anaheim, Calif., in June. VanRiper placed first in Microsoft Word Expert, Willman in Excel and Harmon in PowerPoint. By placing first, the students will go to the Microsoft Office Specialist World Championship in Washington, D.C., in July.

“I congratulate the winners, and all the students who competed,” said Randy Dorn, superintendent of public instruction. “When OSPI and Microsoft began the IT Academy back in 2011, I knew it would benefit a lot of students. But it’s also showing all of us just how talented some students are, and how much potential they have. I’m sure they’ll use that potential to do great things.”

The Microsoft IT Academy provides training and certification in a number of Microsoft products, such as Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel and Microsoft PowerPoint, as well as advanced topics, including programming, Web development and database development.

The program provides two benefits to students: the training and the certification are both at no additional cost to students or their families, and the certification testing can now be done in a classroom at school instead of at a remote testing center. In addition, the instructional materials are mapped to industry skills requirements provided via Microsoft and are ready to use for teachers and students.

For Katherine Schmit, a business and technology instructor at Kalama High School – as well as student VanRiper’s mentor – the free resources are among the biggest draws, but not the only one. “From the programs to the curriculum, to testing, support, innovation and creative application for curriculum, there just is not a down side,” she said. “Students earn industry-level certification, testing rigor and entry-level job applicable skills.


About OSPI
The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) is the primary agency charged with overseeing K–12 education in Washington state. Led by State School Superintendent Randy Dorn, OSPI works with the state’s 295 school districts and nine educational service districts to administer basic education programs and implement education reform on behalf of more than one million public school students.

OSPI provides equal access to all programs and services without discrimination based on sex, race, creed, religion, color, national origin, age, honorably discharged veteran or military status, sexual orientation, gender expression or identity, the presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability, or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability. Questions and complaints of alleged discrimination should be directed to the Equity and Civil Rights Director at (360) 725-6162 or P.O. Box 47200, Olympia, WA 98504-7200.

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Nathan Olson
OSPI Communications Manager
(360) 725-6015

The OSPI Communications Office serves as the central point of contact for local, regional and national media covering K-12 education issues.

Communications Manager
Nathan Olson
(360) 725-6015


   Updated 7/3/2013

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