VHS Competes In Euro Challenge Semifinals

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EuroChallenge2015Verona High School competed in the 10th annual Euro Challenge national semifinal round on Thursday, April 30 at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The Verona team was one of 25 from across the United States to advance this level.

This year, 100 schools from 15 states and the District of Columbia participated in nine regional preliminary competitions. Verona presented in the New York Regional Competition on March 25 at the New York City offices of Credit Suisse.

In the Euro Challenge, students craft presentations that respond to a real-world, three part economics challenge task. Students present to a panel of expert judges from the finance, economic, academic and public sectors. The team must:

  1. Describe the current economic situation in the Euro Area (the economic region consisting of the EU member countries who have adopted the euro) in terms of gross domestic product growth, unemployment, and inflation.
  2. Select one of ten economic related challenges confronting the Euro Area as a whole and pick one of the 19 member countries of Euro Area to illustrate that challenge.
  3. Recommend a policies for addressing the challenge that they identified in the country selected. The commendation must include a discussion of how having a single currency may, or may not, affect the policy choices for addressing the challenge.
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In the semifinal round, the students were challenged after the presentation to answer a variety of high-level questions on economic concepts, the Euro area, and the European Union before defending their country and challenge-specific analysis and recommendations.

The VHS team selected sustaining the social welfare system in France as its area of specialization. The team presented discussion and recommendations in the form of a simulated bipartisan policy meeting.

The team spent approximately four months of after-school time and lunch meetings to prepare the presentation. Students attended training at Rutgers University and participated in an instructional round at BNP Paribas Bank in Manhattan. Teachers, administrators, and a Board of Education member served as panelists in two mock competition rounds.

The competition team included ninth grade students Anthony Freda, Matt Nagy, Cole Smith, Sam Volpe and Isabella Williams. Research members included Brian Feury, Evan Huaman, Isabella Josephson, Garrett Percevault, Dean Ramsthaler, Daniel Sandoval, Evan Saleh and Chitoh Yung. The program is advised by History and Social Sciences teachers Christopher Tamburro and Christine Sepcie.

Verona High School has participated in the Euro Challenge for five years. The program was started with the collaboration of parent Kerry Bass, Verona resident and Montclair teacher Jack Weber, VHS Principal Glenn Cesa, and VHS teachers Mark Russo and Christopher Tamburro.

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The Euro Challenge is sponsored by the European Union Delegation to the United States, and is administered by Working in Support of Education (w!se). The program is sponsored by Credit Suisse, BNP Paribas, the Moody’s Foundation, and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. For more information, please visit www.euro-challenge.org.

Photo courtesy Lisa Freschi.

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