A team from Arthur County High School won first place today in the 2017 Personal Finance Challenge, sponsored by the Nebraska Council on Economic Education. Each member of the winning team will receive a $2,000 contribution to a Nebraska Educational Savings Trust (NEST) college savings account, said Nebraska State Treasurer Don Stenberg, Trustee of NEST.
The Arthur County team came out on top after teams from 11 Nebraska high schools competed face-to-face in regional competitions in Lincoln, Omaha, and Kearney. Arthur County will represent Nebraska at the national competition May 5 in Kansas City, Missouri.
Members of the team are Peyton Flack, Madison Rut, Brenna Larsen and Georgie Lage. Their teacher is Tammie Swanson.
A team from Norris High School won second place, and a team from Omaha Northwest High Magnet School took third place.
“I am pleased with the overall representation from high schools across the state. The task was difficult and the competition was fierce,” said Jennifer Davidson, president of the Nebraska Council on Economic Education. “I am exceptionally proud of the team from Arthur. This was their first time qualifying and participating in the regional finals. They earned the top spot in the preliminary online round of competition and took the state title. They will represent Nebraska well in Kansas City.”
Members of the second-place Norris team are Zach Granatowicz, Keegan Schuchart, Keaton Plautz, and Lane Whipple. Each student will receive a $1,000 contribution to a NEST college savings account. The students’ teacher is Justin McGill.
Members of the third-place team from Omaha Northwest High Magnet School are Zoe Thorson, Adam Strasser, Brett Hillabrand, and Randall Schindler. Each student will receive a $500 contribution to a NEST college savings account. The teacher is Susan Dimmitt.
The teachers of the three winning teams will each receive an iPad tablet, courtesy of NEST.
“The Personal Finance Challenge is an excellent way for students to demonstrate their financial knowledge and skills to solve real-life problems facing families today. The competition is an opportunity for students to apply what they have learned in financial literacy and economic courses, to think on their feet, and to practice leadership and speaking skills,” said Treasurer Stenberg.
“As Trustee of NEST, I want to congratulate these deserving students. I am happy to present each of them with a contribution to a NEST college savings account to be used at a four-year college, a community college, or a technical school,” he said.
Stenberg also praised the teachers for encouraging their students to study important life-skill subjects like personal finance and economics. He also thanked the teachers for helping their students prepare for the online test in their schools and today’s face-to-face competitions in the three regional sites.
Davidson said each team at the regional competitions was given a hypothetical family scenario and two hours to come up with a financial plan based on the family’s goals. Students presented their plan to panels of judges.
A first-place winner was chosen at each of the three regional competition sites, and then each first-place team’s average online test score was used to determine first-, second-, and third-place winners statewide. The online tests were administered earlier at the schools.
More than 1,150 Nebraska students from 43 schools participated in this year’s spring Personal Finance Challenge.
The following schools competed at each site:
Lincoln – Norris (three teams), Justin McGill; Lincoln Northeast, Deb Wolken; and Lincoln Southeast, Lindsay Tillinghast.
Omaha – Bennington (two teams), Pam Sutton; Millard North, Jeff Gustafson; Millard South, Seth Woodke; and Omaha Northwest Magnet, Susan Dimmitt.
Kearney – Alliance, Brigit Harris; Arthur County (two teams), Tammie Swanson; Bridgeport, Amy Widener; and Hay Springs, Melissa Lein.