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Teens show ethical decision making at Team Challenge

Students from Allentown High School and all six Freehold Regional High School District schools tackled real life issues while analyzing the ethical implications of their actions during the 2015 Team Challenge event.

Allentown students who participated in the Team Challenge included Aaron Adler, Amanda Johnson, Chris Leuper, Gabby Lux and Jeremy Posluszny.

The parents of five other students who participated had not consented to allowing their child’s name to be published.

Robert Wicks, Director for Senior Practicum in the Upper Freehold Regional School District, said, “This year the Team Challenge focus was on situational ethics. Each team was given the challenge to find or create a real situation where one might face an ethical issue.

“The topics were quite varied, however, each team focused on something that was important and personal. There were topics such as bullying, gun control and SAT cheating. Our team focused on the use of affirmative action for deciding college entrance.

“Students learn to problem solve, enhance presentation skills, generate consensus within a group, and to understand more about the diverse ethical issues they face every day. They did this with aplomb,” Wicks said.

The Allentown Team Challenge advisers are Kristen Granstrand, Lori Feibus and Wicks.

The purpose of the Team Challenge, which was hosted by the Greater Monmouth Chamber of Commerce on Dec. 4, is to provide local high school students with hands-on experience in team building, creative problem solving and dealing with the ethical decision-making process within the context of real world business problems, according to a press release from the Freehold Regional High School District.

Using the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics framework from Santa Clara University, teams from the high schools explored business issues that have complex ethical implications. For several weeks, the teams worked together to develop solutions that show their understanding of the issues, demonstrate their use of the Markkula decision-making framework in working through the conflicts, and illustrate evidence of their teamwork and presentation skills.

During the Dec. 4 event, each team presented its findings and solutions to a panel of judges from within the business community.

For the second year in a row, students from Colts Neck High School captured first place. Marlboro High School’s team finished second and Freehold Township High School’s team finished third.

Prior to the competition, the Greater Monmouth Chamber of Commerce conducts a teacher training session to prepare the teachers to facilitate the preliminary competition process with the students.

The chamber also conducts a student orientation to provide students with an overview of the challenge and provides training on the ethical decision-making process as it pertains to each group’s business issues.

The program prepares students to effectively enter the workforce by placing them in an environment in which teamwork and creative interdependence is required, where they get to develop their communication skills and where they learn a process for ethical decision-making which will benefit them as they assume leadership positions at work and within their communities, according to the press release.


Examiner Managing Editor Mark Rosman contributed to this article.

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