PAOLA — More than 20 Paola High School students are now certified Microsoft Word specialists thanks to a program offered by teacher Mary Beth Rayne in her Business and Technology Concepts class.

Rayne offered the pilot program for the first time last school year, and she was pleased that 27 students took the exam and passed. She offered it again this school year, and several students took the test in mid-December, with 24 students earning certificates.

“The test is hard,” Rayne said. “You really have to know what you are doing to pass.”

Certified individuals establish their ability to perform a number of Word tasks, such as creating and managing documents; formatting text, paragraphs and sections; creating tables and lists; applying references and inserting and formatting objects.

The 24 students who earned Microsoft Office Specialist Word Certification are: Luke Faunce, Maggie Kauk, Aiden Lakey, Hayden Worden, Tyce Allen, Daylon Brown, Jacie Collier, Hazel Downum, Brooklyn Hornbacher, Delaney Johnson, Eliza Jones, Zoe Parker, Landon Aquino, Javan Bolling, Kaden Brockway, Emily Smith, Cooper Stanchfield, Ashley Winterscheid, Zeb Wobker, Paige Woolsey, Ryan Flynn, Ashton Hughes, Kane Huston and Jason Newton.

Rayne said the COVID-19 pandemic ruined students’ chances at earning a certificate last spring, but this spring she plans to teach Microsoft Excel and is hopeful that students will get to take a test later in the semester to earn a certificate.

Editor and Publisher Brian McCauley can be reached at (913) 294-2311 or

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