LifeSmarts team place 3rd at national competition

LifeSmarts team placed third at the Annual National LifeSmarts Championship in Orlando, Florida. Team members included senior Jeremy Grant, from left, juniors Max Kazmer, Manav Patel, and David Fatheree, and senior Alex Hey.

Photo by Don Zabelin

LifeSmarts team placed third at the Annual National LifeSmarts Championship in Orlando, Florida. Team members included senior Jeremy Grant, from left, juniors Max Kazmer, Manav Patel, and David Fatheree, and senior Alex Hey.

By Ariana Alcantar, Editor in chief

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The five-member LifeSmarts team made history as they placed third at the 25th Annual National LifeSmarts Championship April 13-16 in Orlando, Florida.

Team members included juniors Manav Patel (captain), David Fatheree, Max Kazmer, and senior Jeremy Grant, and Alex Hey.

“We are so happy that we were able to (place third) and we only hope that we can play as well next year,” Fatheree said.

LifeSmarts evaluates students’ knowledge of personal finance, technology, the environment, health and safety, and consumer rights.

“I feel thankful. The school let us go to Orlando. We represented our school but we also were able to have fun at Disney World,” Patel said.

Fatheree played on the team as a freshman, and again this year as a junior.

“We walked into the tournament having no idea how we might play, and as I talked with several of my teammates before everything got started we had decided that we would be happy if we even made it to the round of 16. So by placing third, we were absolutely ecstatic,” Fatheree said.

Several other challenges took place before teams were placed into the round of 16.

For any prospective members, Fatheree said “decide what subject area you would like to focus on, and read as much as you can about what is going on in that category. We had a ton of very current questions during competition. I would also say that if you do get to compete, remember to have fun.”

Individual awards were also earned. Fatheree won second place in technology knowledge.

“I placed second in the nation for my subject area and I am, as I am with all of our other results, extremely happy. I had no clue that I would do as well as I did,” Fatheree said.

Hey won second place in the identity theft essay contest.

“All I did was answer the question, ‘What does privacy mean to you?’ When I won I was excited, as the $100 gift card covered half of the trip expenses just like that,” Hey said. “I wasn’t expecting it as my name was the last to be called up for the winners so I had lost hope by then.”

Kazmer won fourth place in the consumer rights assessment.

“I’m really pumped for next year, I’m excited (because this year) we did really well,” Kazmer said. “The overall trip was just fun.”

For placing third at nationals, each team member received a $750 college scholarship.

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