Certified Masters While Still in School

By Christopher Bellina, Layout editor

Master Teacher Ms. Branch with master sophomores Marco Perez-Vazquez (left) and Carlos Campos Jr. (right).

Ever wonder what it’s like to be considered a master in something? Sophomores Marco Perez-Vazquez and Carlos Campos Jr. have accomplished this very task, becoming certified masters in five Microsoft Office programs.

Business technology teacher Ms. Branch had both masters in the same class period last year. Her first impressions of Carlos were that he was quiet, intelligent, and he only asked one question the entire school year, while Marco was more talkative, but committed to getting his work done.


Get certified

Industrial certification coordinator Mr. Chaine points out that Miami High offers certifications in other fields besides Microsoft Office, including Adobe Flash, InDesign, Photoshop and Illustrator. There are also certifications that bridge into different career paths. In the medical field you can obtain certifications in EKG and certified medical assistant (CMA), and in the automotive class you can obtain certification in Automotive Service Excellence (ASE).

Mr. Chaine wants interested students to know, “These certifications can make you more marketable in the area you decide to focus on compared to someone who doesn’t have certifications. For example, if you work in an office, a potential employer is more likely to hire a person who is good with PowerPoint and Excel than a person who is not.”

Becoming a master

   The certifications carry a large weight in today’s technology-dominant world. Marco and Carlos both saw the benefits in gaining these certifications. Marco, who holds certifications in Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Word Expert and Excel Expert, said, “It’s easier with Word to format a paper and make it exactly the way you want.”

Carlos, who holds certifications in the same certifications as Marco with the addition of Outlook, feels more confident and ahead of the game. He also feels it will be easier for him to complete class assignments.


Motivated to master

Ms. Branch believes that other students this year will become masters. So far this year she has one who has completed 2 of the programs. She is pleased to work with the brightest and best that Miami High has to offer.

Some steps a student can take to obtain their desired certifications could be speaking to a business teacher to set them upon on Gmetrix. Once they finish the training, they can take the test. Getting as much work done in class could prove helpful since students can benefit from being monitored.

Ms. Branch had an excellent passing rate of 86% in the 2018-2019 school year; she had a 97% passing rate in 2017-2018, 89% passing rate in 2016-2017, and 95% in 2015-2016.


The Challenges

Becoming a master at anything isn’t easy every master says, though it’s the challenges that are overcome that really make the hard work pay off in the end.

Marco’s challenge was with an aspect of Excel Expert which had a memorization element to it that required him to learn the exact sequence compared to each part being explained in detail.

Carlos experienced a few setbacks when he was in the process of obtaining his certifications: the program versions at school were not compatible with his home computer, restricting him to only completing assignments in school. In addition, it took him a bit of time to understand the programs. Despite this he was the first of these two students to become a master.

It takes time to become a master. Marco was delayed because Gmetrix, the program used to earn certification, had some inconsistences between the updates for the programs themselves and the lesson plan, though this only happened two to three times not turning itself into a persistent issue.

Carlos had to obtain a deeper understanding of the programs that he had learned previously to obtain the expert certifications in Word and Excel.


Encouraging other masters

Carlos would recommend others to become masters because these are essential programs you will use more in the future. Marco encourages students to aim to be experts, not just masters. He said, when you are going through the basic certification, mastery is at a lower level of complexity than if you took an expert course.”

Marco said PowerPoint, Word, and Excel are the most important. “PowerPoint is vital stimulus for presentations, Word is good for long dissertations or excerpts, and Excel is good for numerical organization.”

Certifications offered at Miami High

  • Automotive Service Excellence (ASE)
  • Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMMA)
  • Electrocardiogram Technician (EKG)
  • Microsoft Word-Expert/Master
  • Microsoft Excel-Expert/Master
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Adobe InDesign
  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Adobe Illustrator