Kami Martin doesn’t think of herself as a typical computer nerd.
The Jacksonville High School senior considers herself a well-rounded student who plays volleyball and soccer and participates in clubs. But she recently has made her mark in the computer world.
She is one of five top finalists in the United States Competition on Microsoft Office and will represent the United States in Microsoft Excel 2007 at the final round of the Worldwide Competition on Microsoft Office. The competition is scheduled for Aug. 1 to 3 in San Diego.
Last year, Japan and China were among the countries represented. The top three winners of the competition receive scholarships.
“I’m very excited about it,” Miss Martin said. I’m more excited than nervous. I’m excited to enter the competition, meet other competitors and see the sights.”
“Mr. Silvertooth encouraged me to keep trying and taking the test,” she said.
Silvertooth, who teaches basic and advanced Microsoft applications, became aware of the competition after a representative from Certiport, a test delivery solution provider, came to visit the district. After the visit, he said, he identified 21 students who received a perfect score or missed two questions or fewer and told them they had an opportunity to be part of the competition.
During finals week, Ms. Martin said, she and Casey practiced their proficiency in Microsoft applications, which turned into a competition between the two.
“They kept practicing. They can keep taking test questions … (Ms. Martin) just kept working at it,” Silvertooth said.
“There were 72,000 perfect scores (within the United States), and Kami is one of the five fastest among 72,000. That makes her really stand out.”
Miss Martin said the test is not only about knowing advanced features of Microsoft Excel 2007 and getting a perfect score. It’s also about the fastest time.
She said she always has been quick with computers and would be a month ahead in her Business Computer Information Systems class.
But she didn’t think she ever would be part of a worldwide Microsoft competition.
Miss Martin’s mother, Nikki Martin, said she is not surprised by her daughter’s accomplishment.
“She’s always strived to do better and go above and beyond …” she said. “I’m pretty excited about the competition. Hopefully it will open up doors for the future.”
Silvertooth agreed, saying Miss Martin’s accomplishment is “astounding” and will boost her résumé.
“It’s just amazing that our kids have that type of skills and abilities. We’ll often hear about what’s not going right in our school system, and I consider this an academic accomplishment,” he said.
“I know she’s going to be a little nervous. I just said (to her), ‘Compete and have fun.’ This is an opportunity for her to interact with these kids from around the world. They all have the same drive.”
The future still is unclear for Miss Martin. However, she is considering a major in psychology and a minor in computer science when she graduates next year.