Soroco freshman beats out more than 3,000 Colorado students in stock market competition | SteamboatToday.com

Soroco freshman beats out more than 3,000 Colorado students in stock market competition

Ben Ingersoll

— Oak Creek is a long way from Wall Street, but a group of Soroco High School students proved this fall that they are a bit ahead of the stock market curve compared to others their age across Colorado.

Starting Sept. 22 and competing through Nov. 21, students of Soroco High School business teacher Randy Homan duked it out with other business students in the state as part of the Stock Market Experience challenge sponsored by the Colorado Council for Economic Education.

During each class period for two months, Homan’s students would fire up their Stock Market Experience applications, utilize their virtual $100,000 in trading bucks and compete in a real-time stock market through the New York Stock Exchange.

That $100,000 didn’t translate into real dollars, but first-place statewide winners got to take home $100 with second-place finishers receiving $50 and third place $25.

"They get excited about it because at the end they win real money," Homan said. "The ones that win, they get to go to the Denver Zoo in May, and they have a big shindig where they give them certificates and prizes and fun stuff like that. I try to hype it up for them."

Soroco freshman Jonah Jonas took first place, snagging a $100 check and a $50 check to put toward a classroom party. Jonas beat out more than 3,000 students in Colorado to finish at the top.

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Jonas wasn’t alone. A five-student team of Andrew Schupner, Leah Walorski, Brittney Schrader, Morgan Harding and Briana Peterson was third overall among state competitors.

As a school, Soroco swept the Northwest Colorado region. Jonas took first in the region, Carl Rossi was second and Nic Peters was third.

The Oak Creek high school has about 100 students, and the Stock Market Experience challenge is a one-school-fits-all event, where all campus sizes are placed in one competitive pool. Steven Marchi, of Broomfield High School, a campus of more than 1,400 students, was the second-place winner.

"It’s just an ongoing thing," Homan said. "I’ll give them their username and password and pretty much use it every day as a bell-ringer when the students come into class. They log in and log onto the website and check their stocks and see where they’re rated, whether to trade or not trade and things like that."

Just like Wall Street brokers, even the biggest winners can watch their hard-earned dollars plummet in an instant.

Soroco freshman Axel Garcia won the competition as a middle schooler and was riding high this fall. Then things changed for him in a heartbeat.

"Something crashed, and it brought him from first to, like, 2,000th," Homan said. "He was bummed. Then he started building himself up again."

Soroco had more than 45 teams — some individuals, like Jonas — compete this fall. There are two more competitions that occur in the winter and spring, going from Jan. 12 to April 3 and March 9 to May 15.

"The students really get involved in it," Homan said. "They love it. It’s the first thing they do when they walk into class. It keeps them engaged for sure."

To reach Ben Ingersoll, call 970-871-4204, email bingersoll@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @BenMIngersoll