Students from Johnson-Brock Sweep State Finance Challenge
Stepping up to Fitness
State Treasurer Don Stenberg with winning students from Johnson-Brock High School, from left, Kayla Fischer, Amanda Dunekacke, Kayla Alberts, and David Shaffer, with their teacher, Sylvia Smith.

Teams from Johnson-Brock High School were the first- and second-place winners in the state finals of the Personal Finance Challenge, sponsored by the Nebraska Council on Economic Education.

The state finals were April 30 at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Five teams from across Nebraska competed in the event that tested students’ knowledge about personal finance. During the competition, each team was given a limited time to formulate a family financial plan and oral presentation.

Members of the winning Johnson-Brock team are Kayla Alberts, Amanda Dunekacke, Kayla Fischer, and David Shaffer. First-place team members received $250 each, and the team will move on to represent Nebraska at the national competition May 16 in St. Louis. Sylvia Smith, business teacher at Johnson-Brock, is the teacher for both the first-place and the second-place teams.

In addition to the two teams from Johnson-Brock High School, other teams competing in the state finals were West Point-Beemer High School in West Point, Cedar Rapids Public School in Cedar Rapids, and Wahoo High School in Wahoo. The top five teams were selected out of an online qualifying round of testing that attracted 212 teams from 38 schools.

The Nebraska Council on Economic Education's state finals of the Personal Finance Challenge received support from State Treasurer Don Stenberg, who welcomed the students and their families to the competition.

“As State Treasurer and as a parent, I have embraced the need to promote financial literacy among our young people as a way to improve their own future economic opportunities and eventually the economic wellbeing of our state and nation,” Stenberg said.

The first annual Nebraska Finance Challenge State Championship pitted high school teams in a competition to determine who had the greater knowledge of personal finance. Students were provided with a hypothetical family financial scenario and were given two hours to come up with a financial plan. Teams presented their financial plan to a panel of experts and were judged on their financial recommendations and oral communication skills.

The Finance Challenge is provided by the Nebraska Council on Economic Education, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the economic and financial literacy of Nebraska students. Student prize money was provided by Nebraska Independent Community Bankers. The goal of the Nebraska Council on Economic Education is achieved through economic education programs, courses and workshops for educators. The Nebraska Council on Economic Education, housed at the UNL campus, has five centers located at the Universities of Nebraska in Omaha, Lincoln and Kearney, Wayne State College and Chadron State College.

Additional information on the Nebraska Council on Economic Education can be found at

  • Jana Langemach
  • Director of Communications
  • 402-471-8884