Montgomery and Muncy schools win fall Stock Market Game

COURTNEY HAYDEN//Sun-Gazette The Pennsylvania Council on Financial Literacy (PennCFL) and Fairfield Auto Group, 5071 Lycoming Mall Dr, Montoursville, acknowledged the winners of the Fall 2017 Stock Market Game on Jan. 31. Pictured is Steve Kaise, Sr., dealer principal at Fairfield Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram of Muncy, (back row, left); Joe Klock, Muncy; Josh Hall, Muncy; Kyle Rupert, Montgomery; Ryan Monoski, teacher at Montgomery Area High School; Beth Baker, teacher at Muncy High School (front row, left); Dylan King, Montgomery; Carter Smith, Montgomery; Noah Eshenaur, Montgomery; and Rick Quigley, general manager at Fairfield Auto Group.

Montgomery and Muncy High Schools came in first place in their own divisions in the state for the fall 2017 Stock Market Game, hosted by the Pennsylvania Council on Financial Literacy (PennCFL) and Fairfield Auto Group, 5071 Lycoming Mall Dr, Montoursville.

Montgomery was in the advanced high school division, lead by Ryan Monoski, teacher; and Muncy was in the high school division, lead by Beth Baker, teacher.

With all divisions in consideration, Montgomery beat out their rivals, Muncy, in the state. Joe Klock, one of Baker’s students, came in fifth in the state. Throughout the state of Pennsylvania, 34 of 67 counties participate in the Stock Market Game, hosted by PennCFL, a part of the World Council on Financial Literacy.

The winners from Montgomery are Noah Eshenaur, Dylan King, Kyle Rupert and Carter Smith. The winners from Muncy are Joe Klock and Josh Hall.

Baker has been working with her students with the Stock Market Game at Muncy High School for about 15-20 years, while Monoski has been playing it for 6, but prior to being a teacher, he was a stock broker for Ameriprise Financial.

The Stock Market Game is from StockTrak, a free simulation for teachers and students who want to participate in the competition. Students in elementary (grades 3-6), middle (grades 7-8) and high school (grades 9-12) can participate in the Stock Market Game in the spring and fall of the academic year. Students start with $100,000 and have the opportunity to invest in stocks, bonds and mutual funds.

“Financial literacy is huge but it is not mandatory in the state of Pennsylvania,” said Monoski. “We look … at the Stock Market game as an opportunity to take what they learned in the classroom because we look at the future and say ‘all the pensions are going away,’ so these kids are going to have 401(k)s, they are going to need to know how to manage it.”

When “you get kids interested and they think they can do it they start their own accounts and this gives them the chance to make some of those mistakes that novice traders do,” Baker said.

Montgomery has introduced an investing course, taught by Monoski, into their curriculum in the business program as financial literacy is something that is important to their district, said Monoski.

Some students that have had the opportunity to participate in the stock market game have pursued careers in finance and business. A past winner from Montgomery is currently attending Bloomsburg University to pursue a career in finance, while others want to get a degree in business, said Monoski. One of the winners from this year is planning on attending Penn State for finance.

For teachers considering starting up the Stock Market Game in their own district, “it’s very doable, it doesn’t take as much as you think it is going to take, and the kids are going to learn — even if they fail they are going to learn,” Baker said.

The World Council of Financial Literacy aims to help students become financially literate by providing them with opportunities to learn about economics, the U.S. free-market, personal finance skills and entrepreneurship. For more information about the World Council of Financial Literacy, PennCFL or the Stock Market competition, visit https://www.worldcfl.org/.

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