UPDATE: April 10, 2015 – Three different teams from Princess Anne High School (PAHS) in Virginia Beach have qualified for the championship rounds of the statewide Governor’s Challenge in Economics and Personal Finance.More than 3,200 students participated in the online portion of the competition and one team from PAHS was first in the region in the personal finance division while another team took first in the region in the Adam Smith Division (advanced economics). The third Princess Anne team was a high-scoring team in the personal finance division.
Banasiewicz earns $20,000 scholarship; PAHS’s business education program continues successful run
Noah Banasiewicz, a sophomore at Princess Anne High School, won a $20,000 scholarship from the H&R Block Budget Challenge, a teen financial literacy program that rewards high school students and classes for mastering real-world budgeting and personal finance decision-making.
Banasiewicz is one of 66 winners nationwide.
The H&R Block Budget Challenge, which was created to help address the need for more financial education in the classroom, has students pay bills, invest for retirement and even pay taxes. Participants in the challenge play classroom against classroom and student against student, competing for $3 million in grants, scholarships and cash prizes.
Banasiewicz, took part in the challenge as part of his business education class. Teacher Jason Barefoot actually made the challenge part of the curriculum for his financial management and accounting classes, and offered the opportunity to Banasiewicz’s Computer Information Systems/Microsoft Office class.
“We’re proud of Noah to be among the top-performing students in the country for the H&R Block Budget Challenge,” Barefoot said. “Financial literacy is important to the future success of our students and we’re thrilled there’s such a hands-on platform through which they can learn.”
Banasiewicz’s win is his is yet another glaring success from Princess Anne’s business education program.
For example, last year, the same program led the district in Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) certifications. These certifications demonstrate that students have required skillsets in specific Office programs, which, according to Microsoft, could earn an entry-level business employee as much as $16,000 more in annual salary than uncertified peers.
Students are able to earn these MOS certifications while in high school at no cost to them. A similar course outside of school offering all of the Office certifications and unlimited testing, could cost thousands of dollars.
Princess Anne, which only had one class of 25 students taking these certifications, led the way in Virginia Beach. The class had nine MOS “Master” students, which means students have demonstrated the deepest level of skills across multiple Office programs. This was the third most in the state, and no other school in the region had a single master student in the 2013-2014 school year.
Additionally, last year, Princess Anne’s Mike Wu earned all 11 Microsoft Certifications offered, making him the first in the city to do so, and classmate Chris Chang qualified for the Microsoft National Competition in Atlanta, Georgia. Only 30 students qualified nationwide.
The school is eager to see similar results in this year’s class, and Barefoot hopes to have multiple students qualify for the MOS national competition as well as one make it to the global stage.