By Alex Wiggins
Capital News Service
RICHMOND – Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Fairfax County won two first-place awards in the 2012 Governor’s Challenge in Economics and Personal Finance competition.
Thomas Jefferson High placed first in the contest’s Adam Smith division (advanced economics). Nearby Chantilly High School was the runner-up in that division.
Thomas Jefferson High also won top honors in the David Ricardo division (economics). The runner-up there was Southampton High School in Southampton County.
In the personal finance division, Western Albemarle High School in Albemarle County placed first; the runner-up was Rappahannock County High School.
Gov. Bob McDonnell announced the awards Wednesday.
“Virginia students need to be equipped early on with effective money management skills and an understanding of how the global economy works,” McDonnell said in a statement.
“The Governor’s Challenge allows students to put that knowledge into action. I am proud of all our young people who sharpened their skills during the competition and know this program will help prepare them for the future.”
Students were first judged based on performance over the Internet. Teams from 30 high schools advanced to the finals – a live competition held April 20 at Virginia Commonwealth University.
“I was impressed with the students’ performance,” said Laura Fornash, Virginia’s secretary of education. “It is clear these students will leave high school better prepared to be more effective consumers, savers, investors, productive employees and perhaps one day entrepreneurs.”
Starting this fall, Virginia will require students entering high school to earn a credit in economics and personal finance in order to graduate. The Governor’s Challenge was created to draw attention and support for the requirement.
Funding for the Governor’s Challenge came from Appalachian Power, the Dominion Foundation, Verizon Foundation and the Virginia Credit Union.