NEWS RELEASES 2016-17 :: JUNE 30, 2017


Three students from Green Hope High School in Wake County took top honors at the 2017 Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) U.S. National Championship recently held in Orlando, Fla. The competition, sponsored by Certiport, included more than 320,000 total entrants and 124 finalists.

Receiving top honors were:

  • Dheya Madhani: first place for MOS PowerPoint 2016;
  • Forrest Liu: first place for MOS Word 2013; and
  • Ryan Catalfu: third place for MOS Excel 2016.

Madhani and Liu currently attend Green Hope High, and Catalfu recently graduated.

First-place winners received a $3,000 cash prize; second place, $1,500; and third place, $750. Also, first-place winners (and a chaperone) will fly free to Anaheim, Calif., where they will compete for the MOS World Championship, scheduled for July 30 – Aug. 2.

“Since 2010, thousands of North Carolina public school students have been able to earn certifications through the state’s Microsoft IT Academy,” said JoAnne Honeycutt, director of Career and Technical Education for the N.C. Department of Public Instruction. “We were the first state to offer Microsoft IT Academy in all of our high schools, and students have benefitted from these classes and the edge they give them in college and the workplace.”

Students participated in one of six competition tracks by submitting a qualified, passing score on any of the following exams: Microsoft Office Specialist Word (2016 or 2013), Microsoft Office Specialist Excel (2016 or 2013), and Microsoft Office Specialist PowerPoint (2016 or 2013).

After besting 320,000 students who earned a passing score on an eligible MOS exam in the qualifying round, 124 finalists were given a printed copy of a document, spreadsheet or presentation to recreate, along with printed instructions and digital assets. They were scored according to the accuracy of the re-creation.

“Every year the MOS U.S. National Championship grows as students discover the value of MOS certification to help them prepare for college and career,” said Aaron Osmond, general manager of Certiport, a provider of certification exam development, delivery and program management services. “Earning validation from Microsoft allows students to stand out from the crowd and prove that they have valuable, on the job skills.”

Certiport anticipates more than 150 finalists from more than 50 countries will be at the MOS World Championship, where students will again participate in a unique competition exam in their track. Six winners will receive cash prizes, medals and the title of Microsoft Office Specialist Word, Excel or PowerPoint World Champion.

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.