Treasurer Pearce Recognizes Students for Financial Literacy Achievement

09 April 2015

MONTPELIER, Vt.—Vermont students from throughout the state were honored today in Montpelier for their work in two financial literacy programs. State Treasurer Beth Pearce recognized student achievement in the Be Money Wise financial literacy poster contest and in the Reading is an Investment program. Both programs are administered by the State Treasurer’s Office.

Pearce was joined by Governor Peter Shumlin who presented a proclamation declaring April as Financial Literacy month in Vermont. The Vermont Jump$tart Coalition accepted the proclamation. Jump$tart is a non-profit group that works to promote youth financial literacy.

“This year, the emphasis for both programs was to teach students about how to build a budget--a foundational money management skill,” said Pearce. “Teaching good money habits to our children allows us to prepare them for the adult financial challenges they’ll face in the future. I’m so impressed by the efforts of our school librarians, teachers and parents to foster an early interest in personal finance.”

There were 332 posters submitted to the eighth annual Be Money Wise Poster Contest open to students in third through twelfth grades. The contest is held in partnership with the Vermont Bankers Association which provides $100 to the student winner in each division and $100 to the students’ schools for supporting financial literacy. Students were challenged to illustrate how to create a plan for their money.

Winning first place in the elementary school division was William Hill of Saint Michael School in Brattleboro. Second and third place finishers were both from Williston Central School. Griffin Cote won second place and Karina Bushweller placed third. In the middle school division, Maggie Warren of Williston Central won first place. The second place winner was Caleb Meagher of Windsor Jr/Sr High School and third place was won by Maura Duval of Browns River Middle School. In the high school division, only a single winner was named. Norma Careau of Milton High School won first place.

There were 22 students who received honorable mention recognition. Those students placing in the honorable mention category were: Noah Rubel, Barre City Elementary School; Evan Rodd, Bennington Elementary School; Josh Lyman, Bristol Elementary School; Vincent Marias, Browns River Middle School; Clara Puller, Champlain Elementary School; Tatiana Byam, Champlain Elementary School; Cecily Jean McCormack, Christ the King School; Ethan Courcelle, Christ the King School; Paige Rovnak, Founders Memorial School; Aura Upchurch, Founders Memorial School; Haley Stefaniak, Franklin Central School; Ella Moyer, Lothrup Elementary School; Maia Jensen, Monkton Central School; Isabella Gaffney, Robinson Elementary School; Gabriel Heiden, Saint Michael School; Ella Pierce, Saint Michael School; Emma Huestis, Vergennes Union Elementary School; Liv-Berit Heinz, Vergennes Union Elementary School; David Aidan Nelson, Weybridge Elementary School; Varsha Karthikeyen, Williston Central; Grace Koutras, Williston Central; and Abby Niquette, Williston Central.

Students also were recognized for their work in the Reading is an Investment program. The program was used this year in 137 Vermont elementary schools. This is the fifth year of the program which promotes both financial literacy and reading literacy through classroom and library instruction and through a personal reading challenge. This year, more than 5,600 students from 107 schools completed the reading challenge and had their names entered in a random drawing to win one of twenty $250 college savings accounts. Last year, 4,100 students completed the reading challenge.

Students winning college savings accounts were: Payden Garthaffner, Addison Central School; Corinne White, Barnard Academy; Owen Dube-Johnson, Barstow Memorial School; Isaac Russ, Bradford Elementary School; William Harvey, Cambridge Elementary School; Sean Shangraw, Central Elementary School; Aydon White, Essex Elementary School; Hayden Wright, Franklin Central School; Marlea Busier, Hinesburg Community School; Collin Farrell, Johnson Elementary School; Jude Hermansky, Manchester Elementary School; Alex Field, Mary Hogan Elementary School; Asher Dixson-Boles, Montgomery Elementary School; Roy Powers, Richmond Elementary School; Lila Jones, Samual Morey Elementary; Brady Farrar, Sheldon Elementary School; Hayden Mabey, South Royalton School; Arianna Bourdeau, Swanton Central School; Oscar Howard, Underhill Central School; and Gabriel Dexter, Williamstown Elementary.

Johnson Elementary School and Essex Elementary School each won a four-foot-tall Vermont Teddy Bear for their school libraries. The schools were chosen from a random drawing of 40 schools which had one-third or more of the student body complete the reading challenge. There were seven schools that had 100 percent participation in the reading challenge. Those schools and the librarian or administrator running the program are: Barstow Memorial, Heidi Webster; Bradford Elementary, Gail Trede; Franklin Central, Joyce Hakey; Lunenburg Schools, Nancy Croteau; Montgomery Elementary, Robin Bryce; Orange Center School, Lis Zwick; and Sunderland Elementary, Melody Troy.

The program is underwritten by the TD Bank Charitable Foundation and the Windham Foundation. Additional support also comes from Comcast, with all prizes donated by the Vermont Student Assistance Corporation. Each fall, participating schools receive three hard-backed books teaching money management lessons and an accompanying curriculum guide. The 2014-2015 personal finance theme was, “Building a Money Plan.”

Lesson plans and activities for the Reading is an Investment program are available through the State Treasurer’s Office financial literacy web site at Also viewable at this site are the winning posters from this year’s Be Money Wise contest.


Contact Us

Office of the State Treasurer
109 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05609
Main Phone: (802) 828-2301
Toll Free: (800) 642-3191


Ashlynn Doyon at

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