Two Blountstown High School students are the first in the Calhoun County School System to achieve the Microsoft Office 2007 Specialist Certification.BHS junior Scott Dunn finished his series of three tests in Word, Excel and Power Point on January 25 to earn the certification. Two days later, Kristyn Morris, a senior at BHS, became the second student in the county and the first female to achieve the specialist milestone.Dunn and Morris are taught by Mrs. Debra Perdue who strives to help her business education students obtain skills that will give them an edge when they enter the workforce. Earning a Microsoft Office Specialist certification can help students differentiate themselves in today’s competitive job market, broaden their employment opportunities by displaying their advanced skills, and result in higher earning potential. Not only is this achievement important to the students, it also reflects highly on BHS, contributing to the school’s annual grade from the Florida Department of Education.Career and Technical Education celebrates National CTE Month during February. It’s a time to celebrate and promote the many facets of this life-changing curriculum. CTE has grown from just a few courses at the turn of the 20th century in agriculture and home economics into a plethora of curricula that represent a broad array of challenging careers in a 21st century global economy. The CTE curriculum is evolving as our needed workforce skills become more complex. As more attention is focused on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) careers, the CTE curriculum is becoming more specialized and aligned with industry standards. Blountstown High School will be offering several new CTE courses that will broaden our students’ opportunities to develop 21st century career skills. Aside from enrolling in industry-approved courses, students will have more opportunities than ever to earn industry-recognized credentials.Credentials such as Microsoft Office Specialist help our students become more marketable right out of high school. These credentials can be stacked with credentials earned at the post-secondary level or used immediately in the workplace.For years, CTE has been helping students understand how to apply core education concepts in English, math and science through the development of workforce skills in a variety of career areas. As an added bonus, CTE has a positive impact on students’ decisions to graduate. Students who have completed at least four CTE courses in high school have higher graduation rates compared with those who have not taken CTE courses. Congratulations to Scott and Kristyn on this outstanding achievement!