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WHS senior wins big at BPA National Leadership Conference

WHS senior Alex Tang, who competed May 4 at the 2014 Business Professionals of America National Leadership Conference in Indianapolis, Ind., poses with his first-place award in Microsoft Office User Specialist in Powerpoint 2010 and his second-place award in Medical Office Procedures. Submitted Photo

WORTHINGTON — Alex Tang, a Worthington High School senior, took first place in Microsoft Office User Specialist in Powerpoint 2010, along with second place in Medical Office Procedures, at the 2014 Business Professionals of America (BPA) National Leadership Conference Sunday in Indianapolis, Ind.

Tang, who has been involved in BPA all four years of his high school career, scored 935 out of 1,000 on the interactive Powerpoint test. He now advances to the 2014 Microsoft Office Specialist U.S. National Championship, scheduled for June 20-22 in Atlanta, Ga.

“This particular test is sort of an extra — it’s outside of the regular competition,” said Penny Troe, Worthington BPA adviser and business teacher at WHS, of the Powerpoint test. “This specialist test is something that Microsoft partnered with BPA to include, and they’ve only been doing that for about six years.

“This is the second time that the Minnesota BPA has had a grand champion in this category, and it’s definitely a first for Worthington,” she added.

Tang explained his score was based on points earned while taking the test combined with speed.

“The test asked me to complete several tasks in Powerpoint, whether it was to apply a transition to a certain slide, fixing properties to a slide — basically anything to do with creating a Powerpoint,” he said. “The score is based on not only if you complete the task correctly, but the faster you do it, the more points you earn.”

When Tang was called up to the stage as one of the top three placers, Troe was stunned.

“I knew he would do well, but then they announced the third place, then the second, and finally I was thinking, ‘There’s only one place left — he won!’ I was so proud,” she said.

Tang also described his second-place result in Medical Office Procedures.

“That test consisted of multiple choice questions, and I also had two jobs to complete,” Tang said. “One job was to take a transcript and format it with a medical transcript, and the other job was to create a form that patients would fill out. This score is based on points earned during the test and completing the jobs correctly, and then if there was a tie, they would go to speed to break the tie.”

Tang noted that he especially studied hard for the Medical Office Procedures part of the competition.

“Last semester I took a medical terminology class through Minnesota West, and I actually bought the book from that class to study from, as well as purchasing a medical assistant book, and the Webster’s medical and abbreviations dictionary,” Tang said.

Tang expressed that his big win was bittersweet since this will be his last time competing with WHS in BPA competitions.

“I enjoyed the fact that I placed at nationals, but I’m really sad that this is now my last year,” he said.

If Tang wins at the Microsoft Office Specialist U.S. National Championship, he will then advance to the Microsoft Office Specialist International Competition July 27-30 in Anaheim, Calif. He would represent the U.S. and be eligible to win $5,000 for first place.

Troe has advised Tang all four years of his BPA career and watched him grow as a competitor, student and person.

“He has grown professionally and academically. He is just a well-rounded young man, and I’m very proud of him,” Troe said.

Tang plans to continue on with his BPA career, as he has been accepted to the University of Minnesota. He is enrolled in the bioscience program and majoring in genetics, cell biology and development.

Also scoring high honors was Ashley Jansma, senior, who won the Ambassador Torch Award. This honor is given at the national level and requires 70 points in each Torch Category. The seven categories are: leadership; service; cooperation; knowledge; friendship; love, hope, faith; and patriotism.

Here are the WHS results from the 2014 National Business Professionals of America Competition:

Alex Tang: first, Microsoft Office User Specialist; second, Medical Office Procedures; 28th, Parliamentary Procedure Concepts; 61st, Project Management Concepts; 78th, Management, Marketing & Human Resources; 79th, Administrative Support. Alicia Khatt: 13th, Digital Media Production. Ashley Jansma: 28th, Banking & Finance, the Ambassador Torch Award. Christopher Mayorga: 13th, Digital Media Production; 84th, Project Management Concepts.

Daily Globe Reporter Erin Trester may be reached at 376-7322.

Erin Trester
Erin Trester is the crime and city reporter for the Daily Globe. She's a native of Lewiston, MN, but moved to Buffalo, NY to attend college and obtained her bachelor's degree in Communications. She started at the Western New York Catholic Newspaper as a reporter in Buffalo, but in October 2013 she returned to her home state to start with the Daily Globe. Most of her spare time is taken up by her 13-year-old thoroughbred named Faith, but some of her other hobbies include reading, fishing and spending time with friends and family. 
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