Press Contact: Tim Lueders-Dumont (802) 828-1451
MONTPELIER, Vt.—Ten teams of Vermont high school students competed last week to test their knowledge of personal finance and economics at the 2017 Vermont Treasury Cup Challenge, an annual event hosted by Vermont State Treasurer Beth Pearce. After 18 head-to-head matches, Mount Mansfield Union High School’s five-person team won the championship. Champlain Valley Union High School came in second, with South Burlington High School finishing a close third. This was the ninth year of the day-long competition.
“The Vermont Treasury Cup Challenge encourages students to learn about personal finance, economics, and consumer affairs,” said State Treasurer Beth Pearce. “I commend these students for putting their knowledge to the test. This is a rigorous competition that requires focus and determination. Our hope is that, by challenging students, we help spark an interest in personal finance concepts that will last a lifetime.”
The April 7 competition was held in Montpelier. Teams from all over the state participated, including Champlain Valley Union High School; Fair Haven High School; Green Mountain Technical Career Center; Lyndon Institute; Missisquoi Valley Union High School; Mt. Mansfield Union High School; Randolph Technical Career Center; South Burlington High School; U-32 High School; and Winooski High School.
”Winning the cup is nice, but the real reward is the hours and hours of prep leading up to the big day,” stated student Leo Lehrer-Small. ”The Treasury Cup, like seeing the Lombardi Trophy, is a once in a lifetime opportunity,” said Ben Austin, “I will cherish this day forever.”
The Vermont Treasury Cup Challenge is a double-elimination tournament, 4-6 person student teams compete in a quiz-show style contest. Each member of the championship team received a $500 college savings account and members of the second place team a $250 account, donated by the Vermont Student Assistance Corporation. The winning team also won the right to represent Vermont as a semi-finalist in the National Economics Challenge. Mount Mansfield Union will compete in the David Ricardo Division for semester general economics students to determine if they will qualify for the prestigious national finals in New York City.
”You never know what the day will bring with the Treasury Cup, but you can bank on meeting great students and teachers and having a blast,” said Coach David Alofsin. “Our time at the statehouse was memorable and the knowledge gained will last a lifetime.”
Each match featured three rounds of questions. In round one of each match, students were asked questions on personal finance. Questions covered topics such as how to responsibly use credit, ways to budget money, understanding taxes, and purchasing a house. 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.
Students competing for Mt. Mansfield Union High School were Oliver Waite, Leo Leher-Small, David Rosales, Wyatt Gilbert-Barker, and Ben Austin. The Mount Mansfield Union team was coached by David Alofsin. Students on the Champlain Valley Union High School team were Max Pudvar, Jack Caswell, Will Ravell, Amelia Pflaster, and Preston Webb. Champlain Valley Union High School was coached by Tamie-Jo Dickinson and Colleen Wedge. Coach Eric Stone and students Katherine Yang, Mara Senecal-Albrecht, Liam Lustberg, Aaron Stone, and Thomas Dustira represented South Burlington High School.
“I want to thank all of the students, teachers, volunteers, and sponsors who make the Vermont Treasury Cup Challenge possible. When Vermonters develop their personal finance skills, they are better positioned to lead a lifetime of financial well-being. I’m proud of these competitors,” Treasurer Pearce concluded.