Live Oak —
Through Suwannee Middle School’s IT Academy, 83 students received 120 Microsoft certifications according to SMS IT teacher Jennifer Byrd. She and other IT teachers, Jennifer Campbell and Keith Stavig had originally set out for 50 of their students to become certified. They were told by the Whetstone Group who helps sponsor the IT Academy that 50 was a high, but realistic number to go for, but the students blew them away.
“We were told, ‘If you can get 50, then you’ve done something. You’ve succeeded,’” said Stavig.
“The determination of the students and their work effort totally impressed me,” said Byrd.
Once a student was certified it seems to have inspired and fueled the competitive edge of another student. It didn’t take long before other students were going full throttle to get their certifications after seeing peer’s names with their certifications listed in classrooms and school halls. It also encouraged some of the younger students to inquire.
Stavig said the program is very effective as it is geared toward the individual. Students can work at their pace and level and do as much as they want to do.
Byrd said anyone testing had to get a score of 700 out of 1,000. She said about 70 percent of the students tested were scoring at 800 and above. There were very few who “just made it”.
“What’s really great is that the students are already thinking about next year,” said Stavig. “Every one of my students want to keep working towards this at the middle school and the high school.”
Number of students per certification:
One Note: 1