New group sparks an interest in finance

Sophomores Drew Dawson and Cody Wilson have each earned a $100 savings bond thanks to the newly-created finance club. Wilson and Dawson were the winners of the scavenger hunt hosted by the new school organization on Nov. 12.

  “We wanted to focus on the value of pennies, nickels and dimes (small change), so students had to hunt for these coins and the team with the most money won a $100 saving bond each,” math teacher and finance club leader Jowell Roellig said.

  When students showed an overwhelming interest in finance, teachers saw an opportunity to help and the Finance Club was created at WHS. The idea was thought of at the end of September and the first meeting was at the first of October.

  The goal for finance club is to prepare for a solid financial future. Exactly 112 students signed up to learn more about the stock market, mutual funds, long and short term investing, credit cards, loans, scholarships, retirement accounts, and checking and saving accounts.

  “I think finance club is very important because the things we get taught in our classes on a daily basis are not really what we will be using in real life. By having people come in and teach us about the importance of stocks, bonds, how to control and keep track of your finances, etc. It gives us a foot in the door to real world of money and the problems we could face. The need for young people to know about money is increasing day by day and having this club teaches us the basics that we need to know,” President junior Kaci Cooner said.

  There are four teachers involved in the finance club, including math teacher Brian Hrabe, business teachers Bethany Siegel and Kimberly Pate and math teacher Jowell Roellig. Officers for finance club are Cooner; Vice President, junior Cade Chiles; Treasurer, sophomore Dallas Larsen; and Secretary, junior Ashley Kuykendall.

  Community experts will be available after the start of the new year either during advisory or after school to help educate and inform club members so they can make informed decisions about their financial future.

  The first get-together the club held was a scavenger hunt.

  During the scavenger hunt, teams were randomly chosen by picking a puzzle piece then finding their match. The reason for this was for students to network, meet new people and it also allowed students to get out of their comfort zone.  There were 125 clues leading to 130 coins. The object was to collect the largest amount of coins. The winners of the scavenger hunt were sophomores Cody Wilson and Drew Dawson with 52 cents.

  “We worked really well together. We’ve been friends since elementary school so working together went smoothly,” Wilson said.

  “We started with one clue, we would go to the area we thought the coin was in, then we would read clues that seemed like they were also talking about the same area. We found multiple coins on the football field by only using one clue,” Dawson said.

  “We started and found a lot of the coins on the football field. From there, we used our ‘detective skills’ to solve the riddles and find more coins,” Wilson said.

  Some future events that Finance Club has planned include having a Christmas party in January and a “mini-conference” in February or March. A mini-conference is when multiple speakers and professionals come to the school to talk about a certain subject in finance. The students have the opportunity to listen to the speakers that they want to hear. They also have some very creative fundraising ideas planned for the members.