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West High School Freshman Scores 100% on Software Accreditation Exam, Teacher Serves as Tech Mentor

Student and teacher pose with arms wrapped around the other

February 12, 2024 – Zina Thomas has taught at West High School since 2020, and in that time, she’s seen countless students succeed. However, only one student has caused her to start dancing in the middle of class.

Thomas teaches business foundations with Microsoft Office integration, a class that prepares students to excel (pun intended) at Microsoft software. Students become proficient in PowerPoint, Word, Outlook, and Excel programs during the year. 

Once students finish the curriculum for each program, they take an accreditation exam to become certified. When freshman Abbey Stewart finished her PowerPoint exam, she learned she had received 1,000 points out of a possible 1,000 – a perfect score. 

“We’ve had this program here for seven years, and no one has ever received a perfect score,” Thomas said. “[When I saw,] I started breakdancing – jumping and everything. It’s an awesome accomplishment; I’m so excited.”

Stewart’s learning of Microsoft Office started outside of the classroom. Her mother works extensively with Excel, both in her job at Huntington Bank and in higher education classes she attends. With this experience, she showed Stewart some elements of various Office programs. 

Thanks to her mom, Stewart knew the PowerPoint basics coming into the business foundations class, but Thomas taught her exactly how much the program can do. 

“You can do almost anything in PowerPoint,” Stewart said. “You can make videos, logos, take screen recordings… anything.”

Thanks to the business foundations course, Stewart felt confident when taking her accreditation exam. However, she didn’t expect a perfect score. 

“There were some questions that I worried I would do the wrong way,” Stewart said. “I got a 100% on all of the practice modules, so I expected to get a good score, but not a perfect one.”

Stewart’s performance on the exam shows her incredible potential. With Intel bringing their production facilities to Columbus, Thomas said students with software tech knowledge will be in demand. Stewart is just starting her high school career, and Thomas is confident that her expertise will continue to grow. 

“There is no limit on her technological skills,” Thomas said. “She is just scratching the surface of her potential.”

Now that she has successfully wrapped up the PowerPoint unit, Stewart is ready to begin learning everything there is to know about Word. She feels confident that she will also do well in that accreditation exam.. She’s excited to continue learning about Office Suite because of its importance outside Thomas’ class. 

“In college, if I have to make a presentation, it will be a lot easier,” Stewart said. “I’ll already understand [PowerPoint] and can make something great.”

Thomas plans to continue giving Stewart information to help her learn about technology. After the year ends, Thomas hopes Stewart will continue taking her classes so she can be her mentor throughout high school. 

“I want her to stay on the business pathway so I can act as a reference for her,” Thomas said. “I want to help lead and guide her to reach her full potential.”

Power of One

Priority 1 - Whole Child FocusedPriority 2 - Equitable Opportunities for AllPriority 3 - Strong Learning Communities in Every RegionPriority 4 - Authentic EngagementPortrait Attribute 1 - AdaptabilityPortrait Attribute 2 - CommunicationPortrait Attribute 3 - CreativityPortrait Attribute 4 - Critical ThinkingPortrait Attribute 5 - Global EmpathyPortrait Attribute 6 - Technology