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STUDENTS EARN MICROSOFT CERTIFICATION

Preparing students for real-world employment opportunities is the main goal of Ms. Salerno, the Business Management teacher at Romulus High School. Salerno manages a state of the art business lab, equipped with 30 dual monitored student stations. The lab also includes three 65-inch touch screen smart boards that allow students to present business portfolios, and Salerno to deliver industry-standard instruction. Prior to joining the Romulus teaching staff in 2000, Salerno was employed in the accounting department at Ford Motor Company. “ The corporate world was no longer satisfying to me. I felt like I could use my knowledge to impact the lives of others”, said Salerno. Since then she has built a multi-layered business program at RHS that incorporates classroom instruction, research, distance learning, and a virtual simulation where students take on the role of a general manager. Students who take the course and complete each section can gain Microsoft Office Certification in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint by passing an examination. According to Tom Knight from the Michigan Department of Education, Microsoft has allowed school districts to become testing sites through their Imagine Academy. “The program is ever evolving. Students across the state who earn these certifications are developing industry standard skills and are entering the workforce” said Knight. Under Salerno’s guidance, Romulus High School became an Imagine Academy in 2015. The Academy provides free digital text, lesson plans and 500 certificate vouchers valued at 1-hundred dollars each, for staff and students to become Microsoft certified. Salerno mentioned that since RHS has become a testing site more students are taking the test and are performing at a much higher rate. One of Salerno’s students is Senior Kierra Ross; she says “Learning how to manage numbers is a big help if you want to be fiscally responsible in life. It is important to know how to budget income and expenses”. Another bonus for students who want to major in business and successfully complete each section of the course with a letter grade of a B or higher are that they can qualify for college credit with many Michigan colleges.