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Wylie High School Students Continue to Earn Google Certifications


Two years ago, Mrs. Michelle Bellamy, information technology teacher at Wylie High School, had the first high school students in the nation to receive the Google IT Support Professional Certification.

WHS junior Aadi Patel is the latest to join them. He recently received his specialization certification in Google Information Technology Support. Patel completed and received individual certifications in six separate courses prior to earning the final Google IT Support certification.

“He is the seventh student from Wylie High School to complete the Google IT Support Professional Certification,” Bellamy said. “This program is marketed towards individuals looking to advance their IT careers.”

Teacher and student visit.

The first junior to receive a Google certification, WHS junior Aadi Patel shows his newly acquired achievements to his Information Technology Teacher, Mrs. Michelle Bellamy.

Patel is not only the first this school year to complete all of his certifications, but he is also the only junior in the practicum class taking part in the Google certification program; the others are all seniors. 

“Taking this Google course sharpens your skills in networking, computer systems and cyber security,” Patel said. “It’s a challenge, but I recommend it.”

Group photo of certification students.

Mrs. Bellamy’s practicum students are all taking online courses to earn their Google Technology Certifications.

Patel is one of eight students in Bellamy’s double-blocked practicum of information technology course. They spend up to six weeks on each of the required courses before testing to earn their certification. It takes a minimum of 36 weeks to complete an entire course to earn the final certification as an IT Support Professional or Python Automation Expert.

Patel wanted to be “up there with the best of the best.” On top of being the first and youngest in his class to complete the entire IT certification course, he finished 6.5 months early.

Computer screen with Google IT Support.

“Students can work ahead on the courses,” Bellamy said. “Aadi knocked it out as fast as he could; I am so proud of this kid!”

To earn certifications, the courses require students to read and work through lessons, watch videos,  complete virtual labs, and finally, pass multiple exams.

“We have to successfully complete all of the labs and other required activities to get to the test,” senior Andrew Luong said.

Boys work on computer.

Seniors Zenidy Le and Ronald Smitheart will soon have their Google certifications. Both are pursuing the Automation Expert certification.

Wylie is the second largest city in the metroplex for Information Technology jobs. Because of this, Google markets heavily in this area. 

“Google also partners with many corporate sponsors as part of this program,” Bellamy said. “Those corporations then tend to hire Google-certified people, making Wylie ISD students with this certification more competitive applicants.” 

The summer after graduation, former students of Bellamy’s were hired for paid internships at State Farm.

Patel is already discussing a possible internship with Southwest Airlines this summer. He plans to attend the University of Texas or the University of Texas at Dallas and major in Google IT support.

“I’m also interested in finance and investing,” Patel said. “I want to work as a software engineer at a hedge fund in New York.”

Bellamy heard about the Google Professional Certification program on the radio. After a little research, she knew her students had the skills to obtain these certifications. She reached out to Coursera, the certification provider, and was awarded funding for her students. 

“Coursera awards $2400 for each of our students to take the courses,” Bellamy said. “Whereas any other person seeking to get their certification, has to pay $400 a course out of their own pockets.”

The perks for the students in this program don’t end there.

“They can receive college credit as well for having these certifications,” Bellamy said. “Collin College offers all of this as a class – our kids get it for free.”