Essex High School students beat out eight other high school teams last Friday to take the 2019 Vt. Treasury Cup Challenge, a daylong financial education tournament hosted by Vermont State treasurer Beth Pearce.

Each student on the EHS winning team – Bailey Tetrault, Henry Wu, Nathan Wu, Isabelle Petrucci, Grace Lu and Jeremy Brennan – received a $500 college savings account and individual trophies, while also earning the right to display the gold traveling trophy at EHS for the next year.

The group will represent Vermont as a semifinalist in the National Economic Challenge, a prestigious national financial literacy competition, and compete in an online national test next month to determine if they qualify for the national finals, held May 18 in New York City.

“The 2019 Treasury Cup was a fantastic experience for our students,” said EHS teacher and team coach Charlie Burnett in news release. “They enjoyed the opportunity to match wits with some impressive students from throughout the state of Vermont, and they learned a lot in the process.

“Win or lose, my students always come away from the Cup with some new knowledge that is sure to serve them well as they embark on new frontiers in their lives,” added Burnett.

The Treasury Cup Challenge is a double-elimination tournament where teams compete in a quiz-show style contest. South Burlington students placed second followed by Missisquoi Valley Union High School in third.

“Today’s high schoolers need to navigate an increasingly complex financial world,” Pearce said in a news release. “Even before graduation, these students are faced with important decisions about how they manage credit and save to meet their short- and long-term financial goals. It’s important that we engage Vermont students with educational opportunities to test and boost their financial literacy.”

The tournament is sponsored by Vermont State Employees Credit Union and featured donations from the Vermont Jump$tart Coalition, which provided the buzzer system, the Community National Bank, which donated the grand prize: a new iPad mini won by a student from U-32.

The competition is also supported with help from members of the State Financial Literacy Working Group, an interagency group of state leaders focused on advancing financial education for Vermont citizens.