By guest blogger Danielle Wilson
Tyler Millis is bringing home the gold medal for the United States.
After competing among 123 international student finalists from 40 countries in a final round of competition, the 16-year old high school student from Ft. Myers, Fla. was named the 2014 Microsoft Office Specialist World Champion for PowerPoint 2007.
"It still feels unreal," said Millis in an interview with Education Week. "I woke up this morning like, did this really happen?"
Millis said after winning the national title he studied the PowerPoint program every day for a month leading up to the world championship with the guidance of an instructor who was assigned by competition sponsor Certiport, a Utah-based company that runs technical certification programs for Microsoft and other technology companies.
(See this previous post by Ben Herold about the national championship and coverage leading up to the world championship.)
The competition took place in Anaheim, Calif. at Disney's Grand Californian Resort. Millis said the finalists were able to go to Disneyland. Throughout the competition he and the rest of "Team USA" spent time with contestants from other countries.
"It really felt like a world competition; it was cool to see how others think from other parts of the world," said Millis.
Millis wasn't the only U.S. winner. Dominique Howard from New York won the title of Microsoft Office Specialist World Champion for Word 2007. The winners competed against 400,000 contestants between the ages of 13 and 22 from around the world.
The other 2014 Microsoft Office Specialist World Champions are:
· Chan Ian Weng, Macau, Word 2010
· Kin Ian Lo, Macau, Excel 2010
· Arjit Kansal, India, PowerPoint 2010
· Ian Leitao Ferreira, Brazil, Excel 2007
In addition to the gold medal, Millis was awarded a $5,000 scholarship. He doesn't plan to spend too much time celebrating his victory and soaking up the spotlight. Millis already has his eyes on the next prize.
"I want to go back next year. I will start studying for the Word part of the competition when the school year begins," he said.