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Montana Students Advance to National Personal Finance Challenge

HELENA, Mont., May 4, 2018 For the first time, Montana will be represented at the National Personal Finance Challenge. Three students from Hellgate High School—Tanner Baldry, Calvin Beighle and Sawyer Keyes—will compete against other finalists in Lincoln, Neb., on May 12.

More than 280 students from throughout Montana participated in the preliminary ONLINE! Challenge, but only the top six teams advanced to the state competition. The Montana Personal Finance Challenge state competition was held April 16. The six competing teams were composed of two teams from Capital High School in Helena, two from Hellgate High School in Missoula and two from Billings West High School. Competitors gathered at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis’ Helena Branch to put their financial knowledge to the test.

Capital High School was represented by teams The Money S.T.R.A.T.S. (Ryan Johnson, Trevor Peterson and Brendan Richards) and The Pink Ladies (Averie Jones, McKayla Marshall, Travis Peterson and Sam Wigen). Teacher Kent Haab advised both teams. Hellgate High School was represented by Hellgate Team 1 (Grant Rosbarsky, Sydney Schmidt, Mia Foster and Mira Larson) and Hellgate Team 2 (Calvin Beighle, Tanner Baldry and Sawyer Keyes), advised by teachers Beth Huguet and Steven Klimkiewicz. Team Kevin’s Chili (Jessica Hink, Abbigail Sparks, Craig Walker and Dallin Wassmer) and team Think Logically (Avila Skeslien-Jenkins, Peyton Kimmel and Danielle Forsyth) represented Billings West High School, advised by teacher Nicole Bogunovich.

The six teams were provided a case study detailing the finances of a fictitious Montana family. Based on the information provided, teams developed financial recommendations to present to a panel of three judges. The panel included Sean Sturges, president of the Montana Council on Economic Education, Diana Holshue, board member and immediate past president of the Montana Financial Education Coalition, and Julie Mull, associate professor at Carroll College.

“What impressed me so much was the students’ ability to pull together their presentations, applying their knowledge of basic financial principles, in a short amount of time,” said Rhonda Krieger, co-coordinator of the Personal Finance Challenge and Helena Branch Regional Outreach business analyst. Ultimately, Kevin’s Chili from Billings West High School took third place, Think Logically from Billings West High School placed second and Hellgate Team 2 from Hellgate High School secured first place.

This year’s challenge was the first annual Montana Personal Finance Challenge, sponsored by the Federal Reserve Bank, the Montana Financial Education Coalition, the Montana Council on Economic Education and Next Gen Personal Finance. If you are interested in learning more about the Challenge, or want to register a team to compete next year, visit and select the state of Montana.

Kevins Chili - winning team

2018 Montana Personal Finance Challenge Winners—left to right: Beth Huguet (teacher), Sawyer Keyes, Calvin Beighle, Tanner Baldry and Steven Klimkiewicz (teacher)

The Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis is one of 12 regional Reserve Banks that, with the Board of Governors in Washington, D.C., make up the Federal Reserve System, the nation’s central bank. The Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis is responsible for the Ninth Federal Reserve District, which includes Montana, North and South Dakota, Minnesota, northwestern Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis participates in setting national monetary policy, supervises numerous banking organizations, and provides a variety of payments services to financial institutions and the U.S. government.