Tag Archives: MOS2013

Elkanah Superstars return from USA MOS Worldwide Competition

Had an absolutely awesome trip to Washington, DC with my two Microsoft Office Specialist Champions who represented South Africa for Word 2010 [Shaun Nothard], and for PowerPoint 2010 [Tshimologo Molefe].

Shaun and Tshimo were chosen out of 8 Semi-Finalists [all eight from Elkanah House and the only Semi-Finalists in South Africa]. Both were sponsored a trip to Washington, DC to compete at the Microsoft Office Specialist Worldwide Championship for the World Title. Jenny Cole, CEO of Netlearn Update cc sponsored the event and I got to go as the trainer and chaperone.

After a huge amount of preparation in the weeks leading up to our trip, we left SA on the 29th July.


We met our sponsor, Jenny Cole, at OR Tambo as she flew in from Durban. After a two hour wait the four of us boarded the flight to Washington, DC. Eighteen hours later we arrived in Washington at 06h35 on the 30th July.

Transport was arranged from Dulles Airport to the Gaylord National Resort in a black “pimp my ride” style SUV with a chauffeur.  The hotel was so huge, beautiful and very posh.  The boys shared a room and Jenny Cole and I the other.  The afternoon was spent literally touring around the hotel as it was so huge! Walked down to the waterfront area and found the American shop where some shopping occurred! Had the most amazing doughnut I have ever tasted!

That evening we were treated to supper on the waterfront after which we collapsed into slumber land.  On the Wednesday morning the boys and I could not wait to get down to the 4 course breakfast! OMW – to explain just would not suffice…see pics!

Visit NetLearn Update cc – – to find out more information about the business as well as the News Flash on the MOS Competition. If you are interested in Microsoft Office Courseware, then visit this page to see my published courseware.

A newspaper article was written on the event [published in the Northglen News] and about NetLearn Update cc [click to view image]

Northglen News

To tell you a little about the MOS 2013 event…

Certiport (, a Pearson VUE business, is the leading test delivery solution provider for the global workforce and academic markets. Certiport hosted the event at the hotel. From the moment we met the staff we felt such a friendly, supportive and enthusiastic vibe. Everything was professional and organized so impeccably. They surrounded us with an awesome experience of competition, and incorporated history throughout our stay.

The theme for the entire event was “Making History”.  20130801_000017

Participants “Making History” included:

  • 129 students from 40 countries
  • 102 Certiport partners from 38 countries
  • 72 chaperones and
  • 10 event ambassadors speaking: English, Spanish, Mandarin, Cantonese,
    Korean, Japanese and Vietnamese

Countries Represented:

Brunei Darussalam
Costa Rica
Czech Republic
El Salvador
Hong Kong
New Zealand
South Africa
South Korea
United Kingdom

The MOS Competition registration took place on Wednesday 1 August. Students collected their Certiport MOS backpacks and a few other goodies.


On Thursday morning the candidates congregated in the student lounge to view their exam slots for each version of Office as well as for the Adobe Competition. Throughout the day, testing took place at the various conference venues. This portion of our experience was certainly extremely beneficial to us in order to plan for the coming years. The buzz, excitement and camaraderie outside the test venues were an involvement on its own worth travelling for.

We learnt so much from other candidates and trainers on the trip. Our children did wonderfully considering the time frame in which we had to prepare against other countries who have been in the know how for many years. We represented South Africa – AND were the ONLY candidates from South Africa to compete at the MOS 2013 Competition! The experience is a win in itself! Congratulations to my two students, Shaun Nothard and Tshimologo Molefe.

As a teacher and trainer I have benefited from a wealth of knowledge from other candidates and chaperons as well as from my two students [which could never happen in a classroom once a week!] We also learnt that we need to start working the moment we land for the 2014 competition and are very eager to explore and enter for the Adobe Competition.

Address from MICROSOFT

The address from Microsoft at the Awards Ceremony to the children was outstanding. Please take a listen below:

Exploring Washington DC

Candidates were all bused to the mall around 09h00 am on Friday morning, after breakfast. All candidates and chaperons congregated for a group photo on the lawn before the Washington Mall group treasure hunt.  Mall maps were handed out, a $25 gift card for lunch or souvenirs as well as a MOS Championship T-shirt for everyone. The meeting point was at 19h00 at the Air and Space Museum.


Certiport booked out the entire Smithsonian Air and Space Museum for exploration and dinner on the Friday evening. To end off the evening, we were treated to an IMAX movie. That afternoon, we spent 10 hours walking the Washington Mall!


Video footage was taken of our two superstars! It was an honour for our two champions to be include in the 2014 Video Announcement for the Microsoft Office Specialist Worldwide Competition! Check out our Elkanah House superstars in the promotional video for the MOS Worldwide Competition 2014 in Disneyland! Cannot wait for next year having the privilege of experiences under our belt!

2013 Awards Ceremony for MOS

See our two SA Champions go up for their awards announcing proudly South African!

Please take a moment to view our presentations on the”Outs and Abouts of Washington, DC”

Click “Open in New Window” to display the app full screen.


Thank you wholeheartedly, to the following people, for enriching my life so dramatically:

  1. Jenny Cole from Netlearn Update cc, as a roomie, sponsor and for affording me this opportunity to grow.
  2. Jan Day from Certiport for encouraging my students and valuing my input,
    and last but not least,
  3. My two brilliant students, Shaun and Tshimologo, who gave me a very exciting time and put up with the “frog” [only you will know what I mean J]!
  4. Also, to my eight Semi-Finalists, Bianca Londt, Joshua Raad, Resego Tabane, Emma King, Daniel Holland, and Tao Prejawa [your achievement does not go unnoticed and is a huge achievement]
  5. And a VERY special mention to Mr Joe Banda from the Department of Home Affairs for going above and beyond the call of duty to get ID and Passport documents in order for visa appointments in a very short space of time. I will never forget your personal touch and for understanding our predicament.

If you have read this post and wish to know more about the MOS competition / ADOBE Competition and what it entails, please contact me via blog comment or twitter.

Till next time



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Winners announced – MOS 2013 SA Finalists

The South African Semi-Final for the Microsoft Office Specialist Worldwide Competition took place at Elkanah House on Wednesday afternoon, the 5th of June. The eight competitors from South Africa were all from Elkanah House! At the end of the evening only two students were selected, out of the eight, to represent South Africa at the MOS 2013 Worldwide Competition. The eight students mentioned in a previous post gathered in the IT Centre at 14h00 in order to prepare, focus and give it their all for the final exam.

There was a buzz of excitement, nerves and even some trembling hands as the children gave their all for the last hour before the final exam. DSC00615

Jenny Cole, CEO of NetLearn Update cc, joined us from Durban at about 15h30. Jenny is the SA organizer of the MOS Competition and major sponsor. Netlearn have supported me throughout preparations for the competition and have provided me with the utmost service and professionalism. NetLearn will sponsor two learners and Chaperone  (flights and  hotel)  that’s ME to and from  the Competition.  Meals and  Entertainment will be laid on by Certiport.

  • Looking at the marks achieved and times taken,  in choosing the semi-finals, Elkanah top marks are on a par with the top in the Globe, which is very encouraging.

A banner was designed by Netlearn in order to encourage other individuals and schools to participate in the competition next year.


To calm the nerves before the exam, I got the children to write a paragraph about their MOS experience over the past couple of months – this is what they wrote:

This competition has been an interesting experience. It has tested not only my power point skills but also my perseverance, my commitment and dedication, and my hunger to achieve. This competition has presented an opportunity for me to go to Washington DC and for that I am truly grateful. I have always wanted to go to DC to see Abraham; and visit all 12 museums of the Smithsonian; so to win this competition would mean a great deal to me. This competition has not been easy it has been a challenge, but an enjoyable one, and weather I win or lose this year I’m definitely going to participate next year again.
When I first heard of the Microsoft Competition I was super excited. I really enjoy the MOS programme and to be able to enter a worldwide competition that may take you to Washington DC (!!!) for the final round is such an incredible opportunity! I have thoroughly enjoyed preparing for this competition and I have learnt so much more about the programme and myself through this experience.The best part of this competition for me was when we found out that all the people who had made it through to the semi-finals were from Elkanah. It is such an amazing accomplishment for our school and for Ms Foulkes who guided us through the competition. We have practised long and hard to make it to these semi-finals but all of our hard work has paid off! No matter how the competition turns out, I am SUPER proud of whoever makes it through to the finals!
This competition has definitely proved useful in my mastering of a Microsoft Office program like PowerPoint. It has also given me a chance of possibly going abroad to a new country with a different environment and the possibility of experiencing unique and interesting cultures. It has been a dream of mine to go to the United States, generally because of my love of music that I would like to further develop in one of their prestigious institutions. I think this competition has presented me with a prime opportunity for networking with people from all around the world and will provide me with the means of a valuable addition to my CV in the near future as I find my place in the working world. I hope that I am successful in this competition as my parents won’t necessarily be able to provide me with the funds for overseas education, and this could see me spending a few days looking at some of the possible tertiary institutions that I can apply to with the help of either a bursary or scholarship.
Training for the MOS competition has been a long and informative journey spanning over the six months since I decided to enter at the start of the year. I found out about the competition when my teacher told me about it in the weekly MOS lesson that we do to practice for exams to get certified in MOS. I’m feeling nervous about the upcoming final exam for the competition in two hours, yet I also feel excited that I’ve got this amazing chance to be part of a worldwide competition, and I feel ready for the final exam. I’ve been training throughout the six months before and after the semi-finals in April, and I’ve been doing extra sessions throughout the weekends and holidays. It’s been an amazing journey and an awesome experience but alot of hard work practicing. I feel ready to see whether I’ve won the chance to go to Washington for the International Finals.
The very first thought that came to mind, when I was confronted to write a short feedback report on my experiences in the competition thus far, was that I am extremely privileged and have been given an opportunity of a lifetime. To take part in this competition is an honour; in my opinion, anyone who submitted an exam initially, with the aim to represent South Africa in this competition, should be proud. Not just anybody can enter into the competition; to enter you have to ensure that you practice hard and have determination.
The reason that I managed to get so far in the MOS competition was due to the outstanding support and encouragement. Ms. Foulkes, my amazing Microsoft Office Specialist teacher, was with us every step of the way. She was always there; she always welcomed and accommodated us – even on weekends! – and she also provided us with the optimum resources that we required in order to receive the best training possible. In the same regard as Ms. Foulkes, the school has been very supportive and complimentary on our achievements. All the support definitely helps when you face a challenge. It helps you achieve to the best of your ability.
This competition is most definitely like no other competition; its nature is completely different. Firstly, this type of competition would not be associated with what would generally be considered a ‘known’ or ‘popular’ competition. In this competition you are also not competing because you have sufficient skill or are exceptionally talented, instead you are competing to learn and gain knowledge. During this competition my knowledge of the Microsoft Office Programmes has been greatly expanded. Only then did I actually really realise the benefit which this competition holds. I have been given an opportunity not only to engage in the competition, but also to engage in learning and receiving an education in this field. This is a rare gift which many people don’t get.
The work that you put into this competition is not only used for the competition, but also in life. The skills you obtain can be used well into the future; particularly contributing to your effectiveness in the workplace. These types of competitions definitely place a person in good stead for the future. Careers and jobs are hard to find nowadays, and this qualification with the MOS will definitely come into play as to whether or not you will be the chosen applicant when applying for a job. With the skills I have gained so far, I have been able to successfully do things in the programmes with a high level of efficiency and also of an increased quality.
The last thing I wish to say is that this competition has taught me a huge amount – both about the programmes and life skills. If forces you to see who you are, your attitude, personality and determination toward things in life. Everything in life happens for a reason; despite it not appearing that way at first. Therefore, I wish for the best of us to win and embrace the opportunity that winning holds for them. Often the reasoning only comes in the future as to why something occurred in a particular way. Even if you don’t win, what you gain through the competition will certainly be just as valuable as what you would gain had you won the competition in the semi-finals.
We think this experience will be very helpful for the future because it will be beneficial when it comes to applying for a job. Having the Microsoft Office Specialist certifications in Word, PowerPoint and Excel greatly increase that you will be chosen for your decided job. We enjoyed the competition between us and our peers, everyone pushed each other to their limits to get their best possible time and score. No matter what, we will be happy for whichever one of us is lucky enough to get through to Washington.

Before the final exam was written, we joined the parents in the Elkanah Schoolyard Cafe for eats and drinks and the evening was opened by Vivienne Jones, the High School Principal. Jenny Cole then took the stand to explain the format of the evening and wish the children everything of the best.

Prayer before writing

We said goodbye to the parents in the cafeteria and went up to the IT Centre to start the first exam.

Tshimo and Resego said a prayer for the competitiors – it was the most precious moment!

Five minutes and fifty seconds later, the first competitor completed the exam and joined parents in the cafeteria. After all the exams were written, the children went down to join parents.

The results were verified shortly thereafter. Once joining everyone in the cafeteria, I addressed the children and handed out certificates to all eight children. Jenny Cole took over and announced the two winners [one for PowerPoint 2010 and the other for Word 2010}.

Shaun Nothard took the prize for Word and Tshimologo for PowerPoint – they won a trip to Washington to compete in the MOS 2013 Worldwide Competition! Netlearn is sponsoring the flights, accommodation and shuttle to and from the airport. Certiport is sponsoring the meals and entertainment. This is going to be an amazing journey and experience for all of us. Thank you to Netlearn Update cc and Certiport for making this possible!

We cannot wait to make you proud in the USA!

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