More State Titles for Chelsea High School

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Chelsea's state championship Personal Finance team: Michael Struk, Stella Moore, Evan Sing, and Jace DeRosia. photo courtesy of Chelsea High School

Two big achievements with Chelsea High School bringing home state titles for the Personal Finance Challenge and Econ Challenge.

This is the first time CHS has won the Personal Finance and Econ challenges in the same year.

“This is the fifth straight year of winning the Personal Finance Challenge, and the third time winning the Econ Challenge,” said Matt Pedlow, advisor for the teams and CHS teacher. “I am very proud of this group of students.”

In explaining the path of both teams, Pedlow said of the Econ Challenge team, “typically students are chosen for the Econ Challenge team based on practice AP Exam scores, and these four were at the top.”

“I knew that all four students would present Chelsea well, and they certainly didn't disappoint,” Pedlow said of Evan Sing, Jace DeRosia, Parker Olk, and Peter Fredenberg.

The Econ Challenge is done through a series of tests that cover microeconomics, macroeconomics, and international trade. Pedlow said once the scores are compiled the top two teams in the state compete in a quiz bowl. He said Chelsea was in first place entering the quiz bowl against “a very good Troy High School team.”

“Troy High School has won the Econ Challenge in years past and always seems to be one of the top teams in the state, but the CHS team got off to a quick start and didn't look back during the quiz bowl,” Pedlow said. “Chelsea ended up winning 14-4 in the quiz bowl.”

Here is a sample question the CHS got correct during the Econ Challenge: "What does the Federal Reserve use as its main measure of inflation?" (The answer: Personal Consumption Expenditure)

Chelsea's State Champion Econ Challenge team: Parker Olk, Evan Sing, Jace DeRosia, and Peter Fredenberg. photo courtesy of Chelsea High School

Pedlow said the Personal Finance Challenge is done by sending students a case study a week before the competition, and having students then present a financial plan for the fictional family. He said the teams present their recommendations to a panel of judges, and the top team from each room then competes in a quiz bowl of personal finance knowledge.

Students are chosen for the Personal Finance Challenge in a couple of different ways, according to Pedlow.

“Typically students are chosen if they have high scores on practice personal finance quizzes, but this year the state did away with the required test to enter the competition,” Pedlow said. “I knew that all four students were very intelligent, but more importantly, very good at presenting to a panel of judges. It's often difficult for teenagers to talk confidently in front of adults, but this team was one of the best that has ever represented Chelsea High School. Stella Moore has always spoken so eloquently, and according to her teammates stood out the day of the competition. I was very confident that each of these four would be experts at their chosen topic (taxes, investing, saving, insurance, etc) and also be great presenting to the judges.”

The Personal Finance team was Michael Struk, Stella Moore, Evan Sing, and Jace DeRosia.

Pedlow said the Chelsea students had a great presentation ready for the judges, and after all of the scores were tabulated the team from CHS was in first place.

The judges had nothing but good things to say about each of the students on the team, Pedlow said.

“They then competed against a team from the International Academy at Bloomfield Hills which is one of the top ranked schools in the country,” he said. “Our students didn't do a lot of prep for the quiz bowl, but they used the knowledge they had gained preparing for the case studies and won 11-5.”

The Sun Times News reached out to the teams to get their reactions.

Evan Sing, a member of both, said he’s “incredibly proud of our state championships.”

“It was rewarding to continue Chelsea's legacy at the Personal Finance Challenge (PFC) and to win the Econ Challenge for the first time since 2016,” he said. “We spent a lot of time before and outside of school preparing for the two challenges, including case study practice for the PFC and reviewing economics principles we've learned throughout the year with Mr. Pedlow for the Econ Challenge. We put in a ton of effort and energy and it was definitely worth it to be able to bring two championships to CHS and maintain the high expectation we have at these competitions.”

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