Graduate wins US Microsoft Office Championship

Seth Maddox, an 18-year-old student who just graduated from Geraldine High School, recently won the Microsoft Office Specialist U.S. National Championship.

Seth Maddox, of Fyffe, was recently named the 2019 Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) U.S. National Champion in Microsoft PowerPoint 2016.

Maddox, an 18-year-old who just graduated from Geraldine High School, qualified as an Alabama State Champion and then traveled to Orlando, Florida, June 17-19 to compete against 146 finalists from all over the country for the MOS U.S. National Championships. Now he will travel to the MOS World Championship from July 28-31 in New York City, NY.

While winning may have come as a shock, just being able to compete was a surprise for Maddox.

“My instructor at school, Mrs. Valerie Arnold, she really encouraged all her students to take different certifications,” Maddox said. “And, I just so happened to take it the day before the deadline to qualify, and here I am.”

Leading up to the competition, Maddox said he spent a lot of time studying and praying.

“I took a lot of practice exams, a lot of exams, played around with it a little bit and prayed quite a bit,” he said.

Fortunately for him, it paid off.

Across the U.S., more than 365,000 students age 13 to 22 entered one of six competition tracks by submitting a qualified, passing score on any of the following exams: Microsoft Office Specialist Word® (2016 or 2013), Microsoft Office Specialist Excel® (2016 or 2013), and Microsoft Office Specialist PowerPoint® (2016 or 2013). First place winners, like Maddox, received a $3,000 cash prize. Second place received $1,500 and third place received $750.

Finalists were given a printed copy of a document, spreadsheet or presentation to recreate along with printed instructions and digital assets. They were then scored according to the accuracy of the re-creation compared to the original. The champions in each program, along with a chaperone, won a trip to participate in the 2019 MOS World Championship in New York City where they will compete with more than 150 other finalists from 40 countries.

“Every year we look forward to recognizing these students who have worked so hard to master Microsoft Office,” said Ray Murray, Vice President and General Manager – IT, Pearson VUE. “They are young, but they are mastering the skills that employers need in the workplace. We look forward to getting to know Seth and watching him strive for greatness both at the World Championship and in college and career.”

The former Bulldog said he plans to attend Auburn University and study computer engineering after the world competition.

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