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MCSD Students Receive Monroe Computes Leadership Prizes



MONROE COUNTY, Fla. – Key West 9th grader Kendra Johnson secured first place county-wide, being the first to complete the Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) certificate this year. “I completed all three—Word, PowerPoint, and Excel,” she said. “Now, I’m working on Microsoft Expert.”   Kendra beat by one-day Coral Shores junior Joshua Prince.   Joshua announced, “Microsoft Expert is my next challenge.”  Both Kendra and Joshua will receive $500 cash awards this week from   <Monroe /> COMPUTE$.

Almost 100 Monroe students in eight schools are getting their cash prizes for work completed from the start of the school year through November 4th.   “Students study at the own pace, sit for the test, and then move on to the next challenge as soon as they qualify,” stressed Superintendent Mark Porter.  “I’m very proud of this excellent example of competency-based education.  Students like it and no time is wasted.”   

For the fifth year in a row <Monroe /> COMPUTE$ is providing cash prizes for Monroe County students earning industry certifications in internet technology and computer science.

“The early bird gets the worm,” explained Sibba Mira, the district’s Career and Technical Science Coordinator. “The early finishers receive the largest prizes and they get the money right away.”   The first round of check presentations is being held in MCSD schools this week for industry certifications in Microsoft Office, Adobe, and IC3 Digital Literacy, earning over $6,000 in cash incentives, with prizes ranging from $50 to $500.   

Mira was excited to announce the youngest winners, sharing first place in the county: “HOB 6th graders Denis Barrett, Dumel Voltaire, Juaris De la Cruz, Sophia Powell, and Vida Pereira each earned their IC3 Spark certificates and $50 prizes.  Eighty middle school students will get prizes this week.”        

Monroe County School District officials have accepted the challenge from <Monroe /> COMPUTE$ to increase the number of digital and computer science industry certifications across the county.   “The number of students taking elective computer science courses continues to increase, with certification opportunities being offered in every school,” Porter said.  Mira added, “We had over 800 students earning certifications last year.  Our goal is to have at least 1000 this year.”   

<Monroe /> COMPUTE$ is responding with financial support from Key West philanthropists John Padget and Jacob Dekker.  “We are thrilled that increasing numbers of teachers and students are developing their Computer Science skills,” Padget confirmed.  “We have budgeted over $100,000 to recognize and reward those who pass the tests.”