Montgomery High students shine in national competition

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After competing against more than 10,000 students nationwide, Montgomery High School and West Windsor-Plainsboro High School North students earned spots in the finals of the 19th Annual National Economics Challenge.

The two high schools were two of 16 U.S. teams that competed in the finals.

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The final round in the of the challenge took place in New York City from May 18 until May 20.

“Overall placing has not come out yet. We did not make it to the final two teams, but we did make it to top eight in the nation,” said Andrej Elez, a junior on the Montgomery High team.

The Montgomery High team competed in the Adam Smith Division. The Adam Smith Division is for advanced placement, baccalaureate and honors students, according to National Economics Challenge officials.

Michael Wu, Arshan Hejazi and Ahan Raina join Elez on the Montgomery High team, which began just two years ago.

The competition covers microeconomics which are single factors dealing with individual decisions, macroeconomics a part of economics concerned with economic factors such as interest rates or national productivity, international and current events in both critical thinking and quiz bowl rounds, and students compete in one of either two divisions depending on their level of experience.

“I think this year’s team has done really well, because NEC is not the only competition we have done. We have also done the Harvard Pre-Collegiate Economic challenge and we got second overall at that competition,” Elez said. “We also did the New York Federal Reserve challenge and received first in that competition. I think overall we have shown ourselves to be pretty versatile in the different competition we have taken on. I am just really proud of how the team has done this year.”

He won the Russell Glass Individual Achievement award at the NEC. The award is given to the top Adam Smith Division scholar based on his or her combined test scores through three rounds and overall presentation skills.

“Individually it was a good year, as well as, a great year overall for the team. What makes NEC different from other competitions is the large reach it has where you are competing against everyone across the nation and internationally,” Elez said.

The NEC challenge is sponsored by the Council for Economic Education, which focuses on the economic and financial education of students from kindergarten through high school, according to foundation officials.

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