NEWS RELEASES 2012-13 :: JUNE 24, 2013


Three additional NC students earn 2nd and 3rd place honors at national competition

Five North Carolina high school students returned home from Park City, Utah, earlier this month with some major bling. Nina Joseph and Alex Bainbridge, students at Green Hope High School (Wake County Public Schools) earned gold medals as they were named U.S. Certiport MOS Champions in Excel 2010 and Word 2010, respectively, at the 2013 Microsoft Office Specialist U.S. National Championship. Their classmates, Sean Kelly and Ali Khan, brought home bronze medals in the Excel and PowerPoint 2010 competitions. Jorge Perla, a student at Durham School of the Arts (Durham Public Schools), earned a silver medal in PowerPoint 2010.

"We congratulate these students for their outstanding achievements in the challenging national Microsoft Office competition," said State Superintendent June Atkinson. "They have represented North Carolina well, but more importantly, they have strengthened their resumes and perfected important technical skills that will benefit them in college and throughout their careers."

These students were among 140,000 in the U.S. to enter the 2013 Microsoft Office Specialist U.S. National Championship by earning qualifying scores on certification exams. From this group of students, 28 were selected to travel to the championship in Utah to compete in timed exams in Microsoft Word®, Microsoft Excel® and Microsoft PowerPoint® versions 2007 and 2010. Of the 28 competitors from across the nation, 11 were from North Carolina and seven were from Green Hope High School.

North Carolina high school students who entered the competition have used the state's Microsoft IT Academy program to learn computer applications skills and earn industry-recognized certifications and high school course credit. The statewide program, which was the first of its kind in the nation and is now in its third year, has enabled students and teachers in North Carolina to earn more than 98,000 professional certifications.

Because they were the top winners in their categories at the national competition, Joseph and Bainbridge will now travel to Washington, D.C. to compete with students from 50 other countries in the 2013 Microsoft Office Specialist Worldwide Championship to be held July 31-Aug. 3.

North Carolina students are no strangers to the Microsoft Worldwide Championship. Last year, Bainbridge walked away from the competition in Las Vegas with a bronze medal in the Excel 2010 category and a scholarship check for $500. In 2011, Miranda Hill, a student at Spring Creek High School (Wayne County Public Schools) beat more than 72,000 competitors across the country to become the U.S. champion in Microsoft Word 2010. She went on to place seventh at the Worldwide Competition in San Diego.


About the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction:
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction provides leadership to 115 local public school districts and 160 charter schools serving over 1.5 million students in kindergarten through high school graduation. The agency is responsible for all aspects of the state's public school system and works under the direction of the North Carolina State Board of Education.

For more information:
NCDPI Communication and Information Division, 919.807.3450.