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Minneapolis Fed announces 2018-2019 high school essay contest winners

Minneapolis, May 17, 2019

Minneapolis Fed announces 2018-2019 high school essay contest winners
Students from the Blake School, Burnsville Senior High School, Eastview High School, Edina High School, Maple Grove Senior High, Mounds View High School, Robbinsdale Armstrong High School, St. Anthony Village High School, St. Thomas Academy, and Thomas Jefferson Senior High School were among the finalists in an annual essay contest sponsored by the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Each received a cash award, as did their teachers.

First, second, and third place winners of the contest received additional prize money, and the first place winner was awarded a paid summer internship at the Minneapolis Fed.

The contest encourages high school students to study key issues relating to economics. This year’s contest challenged students to “use economics to describe and defend an effective immigration policy.” A team of Federal Reserve staff and retired educators judged the essays. Thirty finalists were selected from the essays submitted by students in the Federal Reserve’s Ninth District. Additional information about the essay contest can be found here:

A complete list of winners and finalists:

First Place: Ryan Zhu, Edina High School
Second Place: Sam Cunniff, St. Thomas Academy
Third Place: Luke Kolar, St. Thomas Academy


Blake School, Minneapolis, Minn.
Teacher: David Zalk

  • Benjamin McCabe
  • Michael Palaskas
  • Ben Gelb
  • Josh Power
  • Thomas Gill

Burnsville Senior High School, Burnsville, Minn.
Teacher: Matthew Eppen

  • Sam Bardwell
  • Erin Bachmeier
  • Peyton Brewster
  • Grace McGovern
  • Emma Redden
  • Najma Abdi
  • Marissa Baker

Eastview High School, Apple Valley, Minn.
Teacher: Joseph Wollersheim

  • Tarun Kota

Edina High School, Edina, Minn.
Teacher: Steven Cullison

  • Ryan Zhu
  • Sandra Chen
  • Evan Jiang

Maple Grove Senior High, Maple Grove, Minn.
Teacher: Jeff Rush

  • Griffin St. Martin

Mounds View High School, Mounds View, Minn.
Teacher: Martha Rush

  • Gina Song
  • Cameron Dolbow
  • Joshua Lange
  • Anna Grace
  • Johnny Yue

Robbinsdale Armstrong High School, Plymouth, Minn.
Teacher: James Redelsheimer

  • Ben Aoki-Sherwood

St. Anthony Village High School, Minneapolis, Minn.
Teacher: Travis Macleod

  • Jonah Martinez

St. Thomas Academy, Mendota Heights, Minn.
Teacher: Dean Simmons

  • Sam Cunniff
  • Joey Motzel
  • Luke Kolar
  • Peter Bina
  • Wes Gervais

Thomas Jefferson Senior High School, Bloomington, Minn.
Teacher: Brian Trusinsky

  • Nicholas Wallenhorst

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.