Southampton High qualifies for state economic, personal finance championships

Published 10:56 am Friday, April 10, 2015

Southampton High School students have qualified for the state’s economics competition in Richmond. -- SUBMITTED

Southampton High School students have qualified for the state’s economics competition in Richmond. — SUBMITTED

Four students from Southampton High School have qualified for the championship round of The Governor’s Challenge in Economics and Personal Finance, a rigorous, statewide competition to be held April 17 at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond. This competition has taken place annually in the state’s capitol since 2001.

Advised by Natasha Preau, a teacher within the business and technology department at Southampton, the students will exercise skills in personal finance and be tested on their knowledge of economic concepts throughout the day-long competition.

According to Judi Crenshaw, communications and development relations director at the Virginia Council on Economic Education, more than 3,200 students participated in the online portion of the competition. The four students combined to win the David Ricardo Division (economics) of the regional championships, and will be among 164 peers competing at the state level.

VCEE Executive Director Daniel Mortensen explained that the governor’s challenge brings classroom concepts to life for those participating.

“Learning about economics and how it relates to their lives helps students realize they already participate in the global economy,” Mortensen said. “Applying these concepts leads to more informed buying and saving decisions on the part of students. They make better choices when planning for their future, including college and job choices.”

Students will compete for individual certificates, medals and trophies within three categories: personal finance, economics and advanced economics.

The winners and runners up in each division will be the subject of a press release from Governor Terry McAuliffe’s office, which will be posted on the governor’s website, as well as the website of the Virginia Department of Education.

The division winners will also receive an all-expenses-paid trip to New York or St. Louis, Missouri, to compete against winners from other states in the national championships. The National Economic Challenge is in New York, while the National Personal Finance Challenge is in St. Louis.

This year’s graduating class will be the first in the Virginia’s history required to earn a credit in economics and personal finance in order to receive their diplomas. The VCEE said that this challenge was a subsequent way of showcasing the knowledge that the students gain from the coursework.

“I think the competition brings to light that students are learning real-world financial skills — and high-level skills, at that — and that most adults don’t realize how valuable this type of education is,” Crenshaw said. “The students strike me as far better prepared to make decisions than my generation was, and that gives me some real hope for the future of our economy.”