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Six U.S. Students to Compete for Microsoft Office World Champion Title in Las Vegas

Certiport names U.S. champions for mastery of Microsoft Office Word, Excel and PowerPoint

AMERICAN FORK, UT – Certiport (, the official test delivery solution provider for the global workforce and academic markets, today announced the U.S. champions in the United States Competition on Microsoft® Office: Alex Bainbridge (Cary, NC), Dominick Cianfarra (Seven Springs, NC), Emily Peet (Centreville, MD), Heather Plocinik (Centreville, MD), Gabriela Tavera (Jacksonville, TX) and Rachel Velasco (Cary, NC).

From August 2011 to May 2012, more than 250,000 students in the United States competed to demonstrate their proficiency in utilizing the world's foremost desktop computing applications. The top six U.S. champions will now prepare for the final round of the Worldwide Competition on Microsoft Office – the World Championships held in Las Vegas, Nevada on July 29 – August 1, 2012.

Details about the Worldwide Competition on Microsoft Office:

"Earning the title of U.S. champion is an honor for these students, but the real value lies in the workforce skills they have mastered and validated with certification," said Ray Kelly, CEO, Certiport. "Students realize the value of earning a globally-respected Microsoft certification, and the competition provides them with an extra incentive to master the programs and compete at an elite level."

The 2012 Worldwide Competition on Microsoft Office includes Microsoft Word®, Microsoft Excel® and Microsoft PowerPoint® versions 2007 and 2010. More than 250,000 students entered the United States competition, more than tripling the 72,000 who entered the 2011 competition. The unprecedented growth can be attributed to more students realizing the value of earning Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) certification as they prepare for college and the workforce.

Certiport, the sole provider of Microsoft Office Certifications, created the MOS certification with Microsoft to meet the growing demand for individuals to use the full features and functionality of Microsoft Office Systems. Current students who passed a qualifying exam and attend an approved, degree-seeking academic institution were eligible to compete in the United States Competition. Participants who outperformed their peers by demonstrating proficiency utilizing Microsoft Office Word, Excel and PowerPoint generally had perfect or near-perfect exam scores and completion times well below the allotted examination time.

The U.S. Champions were selected from an elite group of finalists including:

Microsoft Office Word 2007 Semi-Finalists
Heather Plocinik, Queen Anne's County High School, MD (U.S. Champion)

William Tillett, Palmetto High School, FL
Paolo Pendon, Celebration High School, FL
Savannah Haider, Tongue Point Job Corps Center, OR
Brianna Bercegeay, Live Oak High School – Livingston Parish, LA

Microsoft Office Word 2010 Semi–Finalists
Dominick Cianfarra, Spring Creek High School, NC (U.S. Champion)

Michael Riley, Durham School of the Arts, NC
Breana Guarnera, Queen Anne's County High School, MD
Brame Morrison III, Hunt High School, NC
Marley Price, Spring Creek High School, NC

Microsoft Excel 2007 Semi–Finalists
Gabriela Tavera, Jacksonville Independent School District, TX (U.S. Champion)

Carrie Christmann, Academy of the Sacred Heart, LA
Jarrod Doty, Frenship ISD, TX
Cameron Hart, Scott High School, KY
Elle McLeod, Academy of the Sacred Heart, LA
Cassie Mender, Tri-County Vocational School/The Adult Career Center, OH

Microsoft Excel 2010 Semi–Finalists
Alex Bainbridge, Green Hope High School, NC (U.S. Champion)

Lauren Jacquet, Queen Anne's County High School, MD
Jordan Gulbronson, North Fort Myers High School, FL
Yuki Nishizawa, Larry A. Ryle High School, KY
Savannah Liebegott, North Fort Myers High School, FL
Christopher Hatch, Fortis Institute – Erie, PA

Microsoft PowerPoint 2007 Semi–Finalists
Emily Peet, Queen Anne's County High School, MD (U.S. Champion)

Rodney Wallace, Dunbar High School, FL
William Holland, Agoura High School, CA
Marilyn Fisher, Halifax High School, VA
Anestasia Myers, Harlem High School, IL
Elle McLeod, Academy of the Sacred Heart, LA
Dawn Anderson, Milton Hershey School, PA

Microsoft PowerPoint 2010 Semi–Finalists
Rachel Velasco, Cuthbertson High School, NC (U.S. Champion)

Miranda Hill, Spring Creek High School, NC
Juliana Toyloy-Stanton, Dunbar High School, FL
Cody Belcher, Lufkin High School, TX
Emily Peet, Queen Anne's County High School, MD
Destiny Oakley, Havelock High School, NC

About Certiport

Certiport is the leading provider of certification exam development, delivery and program management services delivered through an expansive network of over 12,000 Certiport Authorized Testing Centers worldwide. Certiport manages a sophisticated portfolio of leading certification programs including: the official Microsoft Office Specialist certification program, the Microsoft Technology Associate certification program, the Adobe® Certified Associate certification program, the HP Accredited Technical Associate, the CompTIA Strata™ IT Fundamentals, the Autodesk Certified User certification program, the Intuit QuickBooks Certified User certification program and the Internet and Computing Core Certification (IC³®). Certiport reliably delivers over two million tests each year throughout the secondary, post-secondary, workforce and corporate technology markets in more than 153 countries and 27 languages worldwide. For more information, please visit or follow Certiport on Twitter at