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Maple Ridge student wins bronze at Microsoft Office Specialist Canadian National Championship

A Thomas Haney Secondary student is updating his resume after winning third place at the 2022 Microsoft Office Specialist Canadian National Championship last month.

Kalib Soltesz, who is going into Grade 11 in September, took bronze in the Word competition, besting thousands of contestants from across the country. 

“I never expected to win,” he said. “It was a very welcome surprise.”

The 16-year-old Maple Ridge resident had initially entered the competition to compete in the Excel category. But when he signed up, organizers found that his scores in Word were high enough to compete at the national level.

“They reached out and said, ‘oh, you are top 20, do you want to compete in [Word],’” he said. 

The contest was similar to the work he has done in his computer information systems courses at Thomas Haney. Competitors are put in a testing environment and asked questions about a Word document, ranging from formatting changes to chart creation. 

Soltesz said he has always had a talent for working with computers and is currently working on coding video games.

“I have always enjoyed figuring things out and fixing stuff,” he said. “I find it fun.”

This is not the first time an SD42 student has had success at the Microsoft Office competition. 

In 2018, both Karrah Parke and Alexander Ratner of Thomas Haney Secondary took part in the world championship in Orlando, Fla, after winning nationals. Parke returned to the Sunshine State the following year, where she won silver.

Westview Secondary students Connor Grant and Cassandra O’Callaghan punched their ticket to the world championship in 2016, while Nash Taylor, Phillip McBride, and Trevor Dean, from Westview, went in 2016.

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