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AHS student "Excels" in earning Microsoft certifications

a young man stands in a computer lab crossing his arms

Story written by Noah Certion, AHS Communications Intern

Laurinda Lamb couldn’t believe it when she saw it. Her student, Dean Anderson, a Class of 2024 senior at Arlington High School: an apparent wizard in Microsoft Office, and she never saw it coming. “I was flabbergasted because I’ve never had this happen before,” she told us. Lamb is a teacher in the Business & Entrepreneurship program at Arlington High School, and for the past seven years, she has administered the Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) Certification exams, a series of tests that require students to demonstrate their knowledge on various Microsoft Office products.

“I’ve had one student accomplish all the certifications, but it took them the full year,” Lamb said. That is until Anderson came along. In the first two weeks of school, he took his MOS Word Exam and passed with a score of 953 out of 1,000. Four days later, the MOS Word Expert Exam: check. The PowerPoint Exam, with no practice at that, he scored a 925. The dominoes kept falling. He has now earned five of the seven MOS certifications, including Outlook, SharePoint and OneNote, all within just the first six weeks of school. “He just has that type of computer knowledge that is very unique,” Lamb added. “He can look at it one time and understand everything he needs to know about it.”

For Anderson, attempting the certification exams at this pace this early on really came down to two things. One, the exams are free since it’s part of the Advance Computers class. “I’m not the one paying for them, so if I can get them while they’re free, then why not,” he smirked. But more so, he hopes these certifications will make him more marketable well beyond high school. “Ultimately, it deals with my want and drive to be successful and to prove to future employers that I'm capable of using this software," Anderson said. "It makes me feel very proud to know that I'm Ms. Lamb's only student to complete these certifications as quickly as I have. I'm just very happy to have had the opportunities that ACS has provided me through this program." 

Once Anderson completes all the MOS certifications, Lamb said she is going to challenge him to continue moving forward by earning certifications in Adobe Design and Cisco, a program that trains people in network implementation and troubleshooting. He is also researching certifications in Microsoft Azure, a cloud computing platform.

Anderson hopes to pursue a career in computer or data science.

Noah Certion, AHS Communications Intern