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State Treasurer Challenges High School Teams to Understand Personal Finance

May 13, 2013

MONTPELIER, Vt.—In an academic challenge of personal finance and economic knowledge, a dozen Vermont high schools recently competed to be named champion of the 2013 Vermont Treasury Cup Challenge. State Treasurer Beth Pearce awarded the large gold traveling trophy to Swanton’s Missisquoi Valley Union High School. Second place was won by Bellows Free Academy in Fairfax and Fair Haven Union High School took home third place.

“The aim of the challenge is to encourage Vermont high school students to learn about personal finance and economics,” said Pearce. “The tournament provides students and teachers with a fun educational event where they can showcase and grow their knowledge of finance. It’s important that Vermont’s youth learn financial skills and be able to understand basic economic principles. I congratulate all of the high schools that participated this year for their commitment to financial literacy.”

May 3, teams assembled in Montpelier for the fifth annual competition. The Vermont State Treasurer’s Office has offered the state tournament since 2009. Since its beginning, twenty-one different high schools have competed in the challenge.

“The challenge provided our students with a great opportunity to compare their knowledge in personal finance and economics to other students across the state,” said Missisquoi Valley Union business teacher and team coach Jacob Hartman. “The success that our students were able to achieve will help highlight the hard work that MVU has done to make the very important topic of personal finance an integral part of our curriculum.”

As the winner of the tournament, Missisquoi Valley Union High School wins the right to display the gold challenge cup for one year. Individual student members of the first place team also won trophies and each one received a $250 college savings account donated by the Vermont Student Assistance Corporation. Student team members were: Taylor Marquis, Kraig McFadden, Elijah Eaton, Cole St. Francis and Eamon Murphy.

Second place winner Bellows Free Academy was coached by math teacher John Tague. Student team members were: Austen Carpenter, Aman Saini, Ben Tague and Courtney Meunier. The third place winning team, Fair Haven Union High School, was coached by business teacher Kim Ransom. Student team members were: Cody Juckett, Dylan Carter, Shannon Halnon, Rachel Butrimas and Jenna Ray.

In addition to the schools that placed in the competition, teams participated from Burlington High School, Harwood Union High School, Lyndon Institute, Montpelier High School, Mount Mansfield Union High School, North Country Career Center, St. Johnsbury Academy, South Burlington High School and U-32 High School.

“The students had a great time at the Treasury Cup Challenge! The format was challenging and fun,” said Bellows Free Academy math teacher John Tague.

Four-person student teams competed against each other in a quiz-show style contest that tested individual and team knowledge. In round one of each match, students were asked questions on personal finance. Questions covered such topics as how to responsibly use credit, ways to budget money, understanding taxes, and signing a lease. In the second round, students addressed questions on the economy. Students were asked about the rate of inflation, what is the gross domestic product, the importance of the unemployment rate, how stock markets work, and monetary policy. The final lightning round allowed students to compete to answer questions that covered both personal finance and economics.

“We learned a great deal about personal finance that we didn’t know before we got there,” said Fair Haven Union High School student Rachael Butrimas. “It was a great day at the State House. We want to win next year!”

The event was underwritten by TD Bank. The Vermont Jump$tart Coalition also supported the competition and supplied volunteers for the event.