Spring Creek student to take on the world
By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on July 23, 2012 1:46 PM
A rising sophomore at Spring Creek High School is one of five winners from the United States who will compete in the Certiport 2012 Worldwide Competition on Microsoft Office later this month in Las Vegas.
Justin Cianfarra, 15, is the national champion in the Microsoft Word 2010 competition category and will be pitted against representatives from 70 countries on July 29.
Certiport, considered a leader in performance-based certification practice tests and program management solutions to academic institutions and technology professional, held the first round of competition in the spring. Students were required to complete an online exam to demonstrate proficiency on Microsoft Office-2007 and 2010 programs.
In that round, Cianfarra became one of five finalists in his division, based upon those with the highest scores and the quickest time of completion. He earned a medal of achievement, a certificate of recognition, and an all-expense-paid trip to the world event.
Cianfarra said he had enrolled in the school's Microsoft Academy, introduced two years ago at Spring Creek, for one simple reason.
"It's good to have the certification in the real world because it helps you get a better job," he said.
As part of the Microsoft Academy, he has earned a Microsoft Office Specialist certification, offered in response to the increasing demand for Microsoft Office proficiency.
He says he plans to continue taking classes in the program throughout high school, working toward other certifications and possibly other contests like the one later this month.
In anticipation of the next round of competition, Justin has spent a portion of his summer preparing and doing practice exercises.
"I have had training online and over the phone, conference calls and practicing and taking tests online," he said.
His teacher in the Microsoft Academy program, Beverly Boltinhouse, has also worked with him and will accompany Justin and his family on the trip to the world conference.
She said as part of the program, Certiport had also paid for a trainer to better prepare her student for the challenging contest.
"Justin has spent time at school and at home working and practicing to improve his time while maintaining perfect scores on the exam," she said. "By taking his knowledge learned in the classroom and successfully applying it in this competition, Justin has earned his place in the World Microsoft-2010 competition. I am so proud of his efforts and wish him the very best in Las Vegas."
The school had two other representatives rank highly this year.
Miranda Hill, who graduated in 2011 and was named champion of the 2011 Certiport Microsoft-2010 event, competed at the 2011 world contest. She placed seventh in the world and this year placed second in the nation in the Microsoft PowerPoint 2010 event.
Marley Price, a rising sophomore, earned fifth place in the Microsoft Word-2010 competition.
The accolade is an impressive one, Mrs. Boltinhouse said, considering virtually every career field on the horizon will likely involve some form of technology.
Credit should also be shared with local officials for bringing the Microsoft Academy to Spring Creek High School, she noted.
"I think it shows that it took an investment of Wayne County in this program for it to happen," she said. "DPI (Department of Public Instruction) had to sanction it and offer it, then Ms. (Jennifer) Tyndall (business teacher) piloted it year before last. It shows that with the resources, Wayne County can compete with anybody."