University of Delaware
The Cab Calloway team won the Delaware Personal Finance Challenge held at UD.

Personal Finance Quiz Bowl

Cab Calloway takes home first place in Delaware Personal Finance Challenge


2:27 p.m., April 15, 2014--Emily Richards, JJ Lynch, Nina Krauss and Taylor Link from Cab Calloway School of the Arts took home top honors in the sixth annual Delaware Personal Finance Challenge, held last week on the University of Delaware’s Newark campus.

The competition invites high school students from across the state who are taking a class that uses UD’s Center for Economic Education and Entrepreneurship (CEEE) Keys to Financial Success curriculum.

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Questions from the day’s preliminary rounds tested students’ knowledge of individual retirement accounts, taxes, credit, savings, spending, dividends and risk protection; also covered were questions on budgeting, debit versus credit card differences, market capitalization of stocks, bankruptcy, Social Security and Medicare.

The top two highest scoring teams were then given the chance to display their personal finance prowess in a Jeopardy-style competition, where ultimate victor Cab Calloway went head-to-head with the Archmere Academy team of Brian Canfield, Francis McVey, Michael Ford and Ryan Beatson. 

“Knowledge of finances is important to controlling my future, and I can handle adult finances now,” said Krauss after competing.

Richards added that while her mother has taught her to be financially responsible, participating in the quiz bowl has also helped. 

“I want security,” said Richards. “I’m setting myself up for future success.”

Ed Killheffer, the teacher who has led Cab Calloway teams for the past six years, said that this year’s students had spent one week of training intensely for the competition after learning they successfully qualified. The team met with Killheffer during lunch, after school, in the evenings and on weekends to prepare.

“The four girls are like sponges who absorbed the information quickly,” said Killheffer.

The goal of the CEEE’s Keys course is to better equip young people with the knowledge necessary to have strong financial futures, and it is the only high school education program in Delaware that offers in-depth training on money management skills.

Connie Montaña, a vice president at Bank of America who was accompanied by nine Bank of America volunteers who helped staff the event, said this is the sixth year the bank has partnered with the CEEE to fund grants that enable both the course and competition to be offered to Delaware high school students.  

Barbara Emery, who coordinated the competition, emphasized the importance of educating students at the high school level about personal finance.

“Our goal is to inform students of alternative ways to manage their finances so they can face things like the student loan crisis and gain awareness and interest in opportunities for future careers,” said Emery.

Marion Jacobs, CEEE staff member, called the center a “driving force” in the partnership with Bank of America and the Delaware Council on Economic Education, and explained that education goes beyond the personal finance challenge event.

“We provide K-12 school teachers with course training and with regular updates as part of the partnership,” said Jacobs. 

Awards announced

For their first place win, Killheffer and the student team from Cab Calloway received $1,000 each and a paid trip to St. Louis, Mo., where they will compete in the national competition next month.

The Archmere Academy team, led by Chris Mascioli, a teacher at the school, received $500 each for their second place honor.

Student teams from Concord High, Smyrna High and William Penn High were also represented at the event and received certificates of participation.

Carlos Asarta, director of CEEE and professor of economics, concluded the event with remarks thanking Bank of America for their sponsorship and congratulating the student winners.

“I am very impressed with this year’s competition,” said Asarta.

Article by Terry N. Hartel

Photos by Doug Baker

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