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Financial Literacy Celebrates Robust Year

Linda Fisher says the trajectory of the financial lives of students can be changed when they learn to manage their finances at a young age.

“Everyone has limited resources, and you need to figure out how to allocate them,” said Linda, an economics teacher and director of the Financial Literacy program. “That is the basic economic problem, and where economics and financial literacy come together, learning how to manage whatever resources one has.” 

On Saturday, May 18, a Financial Literacy celebration marked the conclusion of the program’s first school year. A major part of the program this year was the development of Pelicoin, a virtual currency system used as a tool to teach personal finance to students. About 160 students participated in the Pelicoin part of the program, with many more students taking part in other aspects of the program. Senior Lucas Levine developed a Pelicoin banking application that students can access on their phones.

Among the guests at the celebration were John ’58 and Sally ’58 Pearse, major supporters of the Financial Literacy program and other endeavors at Loomis Chaffee, including the Pearse Hub for Innovation (PHI). John gave a short talk, offering words of wisdom. The Pearses received a framed photo from the event; the frame appropriately was built in the PHI and included a Pelicoin. The band Firetown Road, which includes science teacher Grant Gritzmacher on vocals and guitar, provided entertainment.

Sally and John Pearse

Sally '58 and John '58 Pearse, supporters of the Financial Literacy program, were part of the celebration. John shared a few words of wisdom with the students, providing various tips.

At the event, students were challenged to donate some of their Pelicoin to charity. The goal was 1,000 Pelicoin, and students donated 1,300. The Pelicoin was converted at 20 cents per Pelicoin, so a total of $260 was donated to charity out of the Financial Literacy budget. “I am very proud of them for stepping up and exceeding the challenge,” Linda said.

The award winners from this year’s program:

Sophomore Shane Lischin earned the most Pelicoin in the program, engaging in over 30 hours of financial literacy during 20 in-person events and six simulations. Honorable mention went to sophomore Emma Chu, with 14 in-person events and 19 simulations.

Junior Bryan Chung achieved the highest charitable giving in the program. He contributed 386 Pelicoin, which converted to a $77 donation from the program to Our Companions Animal Rescue. Bryan took part in 14 in-person events and completed the New Career Project online simulation.

Emma won first place in the Personal Finance Simulation. By managing their sim's financial life, including getting a job, finding an apartment, paying taxes, shopping, and investing, Emma’s sim managed to accumulate $536,000 in virtual money while completing college and taking care of all their sim's needs. Emma also completed 18 mini-modules in addition to the New Career Project. Shane ($495,000) finished second, and sophomore Will Hall ($356,000) was third.

Sophomore Max Shactman won the Stock Market Game with a portfolio value of a fictional $128,926.02. Second place went to sophomore Tyler Zebedee ($125,769.7) and third place to junior Eli Krasnoff ($111,429.80). These students all ranked high in the statewide competition. With more than 1,300 high school students participating, Max was fourth, Tyler fifth, and Eli 24th.

During the event on Saturday, a slide presentation included this quote about the program from senior Jazmyne Ahipeaud: “I really enjoy sharing a room filled with peers who all have different levels of knowledge about financial literacy. I always come out of a session learning something new.”





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