The four HHS students on the Dream Team who won their state championship in a finance contest on April 19 are double winners.
In addition to becoming state champions at the Missouri Personal Finance Challenge in Jefferson City - earning the privilege of competing in the national contest on May 2 in St. Louis - each team member was awarded $500, which they may use to put their investment training in practice.
And if they win the national event, each will receive another $1,000.
The winning team members are HHS seniors Joseph Frye Jr., Laura Meidl and Dalton Powell, and junior Alex Addison.
Frye was also on the HHS team that won second place in Missouri last year. The 2012 team lost to Rockbridge Columbia, which later won the national contest.
This year the local team beat Rockbridge to win the state contest. This was exciting for them, according to Kurt Haner, their finance teacher.
"It was exciting to win," said Powell. "Mr. Haner had always been talking about how much he wanted the team to win the state contest. We all answered the final questions and we looked at each other and we realized we had beaten the team that won nationals last year, and now we had a chance to go to nationals and hopefully do just as well."
"This is not an event that you just show up for," Haner said. "There is a lot of preparation to make it to this level of competition."
On Sunday, April 21, the students explained how they prepared. Addison said to prepare for the state contest, "there was quite a bit of studying involved, but if you were willing to put in the time, you would do all right."
The finance class "definitely gives you a good base, and the studying helps," Addison said. "As far as saving and investing, I am planning on starting with what we just won. Now we are excited to go to nationals."
"There is lot of information to learn, but Mr. Haner did a great job of giving us so many resources to use," said Meidl. To prepare for the nationals, she said, "I am going to keep looking over information related to finance to make sure I am prepared as much as possible."
She is already using her financial training, Meidl said, "it's definitely taught me a lot of about college financing and how to reasonably use money in my future." Her advice to her friends is to "be cognizant of their spending habits."
Frye, who also was on the HHS team last year, said "we all studied really hard. We all worked really hard to get this."
Putting his knowledge to use, Frye has "already made my own budget, and I'm saving the way Mr. Haner taught us to."
Page 2 of 2 - Powell, competing for the first time, said "it was challenging because I had not had the test, and I knew we would be going against some of the top in the state, so I studied really hard. Mr. Haner gave me lots of resources to use."
Powell also is using his financial knowledge, explaining "almost everything in that class that we do is valuable. He (Haner) always stressed how important investing is to our long-term financial goals. We already have a checking account and have learned how to do bank reconciliation."
He recommends the class to his friends for two reasons: "Mr. Haner is a very good teacher and tries to make sure everybody understands everything we go through. And almost everything you do in the class will be applied to life. You will use it almost every single day."
Haner said last year the team won the written portion of the tests but lost the quiz bowl. This year to improve quiz bowl skills, the finance II students hosted a Finance Quiz Bowl, Haner said. "Two retired business teachers, Connie Fox and Kathy Riney, prepared questions for the quiz bowl."
At the state contest there are three rounds of written tests, then the top two teams advance to round 4, a quiz bowl.
The first round tested students on the knowledge of "Earning Income & Buying Goods & Services." Hannibal finished second in Round 1 with Powell being a top scorer. Round 2 was on "Saving & Using Credit" and Hannibal had the highest score, with Meidl and Powell receiving the highest individual scores. During the third round, "Financial Investing & Insurance" students can take the test together as a team. This was Hannibal's best round, which guaranteed their spot in the final quiz bowl round.
Their rival in the final quiz bowl was Rockbridge, and for part of the round the students were tied, Haner said, making this a dramatic final quiz bowl round to win. Now he is joining the students is looking forward to the national contest May 2 in St. Louis.