Press Releases

For Immediate Release
April 02, 2009 Contact: Charles Evenson

Wisconsin Leads Nation with Five National Financial Literacy Challenge Winners

Students join only 23 others to achieve perfect scoresk

(Madison) Five Wisconsin students including two from Brookfield Central High School with the same teacher have learned that financial knowledge literally pays. The five achieved perfect scores on the fall 2008 National Financial Literacy Challenge. Each student won a $1,000 scholarship and another $1,000 for his school.

The five Wisconsin winners include:

  • Bryan Dongre, 11th grade, Brookfield Central High School, Brookfield, WI (teacher Elyce Moschella)
  • Jacob Jaeger, 11th grade, Denmark High School, Denmark, WI (teacher Sean Kelly)
  • Michael Montanye, 11th grade, Mukwonago High School, Mukwonago, WI (teacher Emily Iverson)
  • Benjamin Seese, 12th grade, Brookfield Central High School, Brookfield, WI (Elyce Moschella)
  • Dylan Tegen, 12th grade, Phillips High School, Phillips, WI (teacher Jean Flower)

They joined only 23 other students from just 12 other states across the nation to achieve perfect scores. Between November 3 and December 12, 2008, more than 75,000 high school students across the U.S. took the voluntary online exam, an increase of 63 percent over the first Challenge administered in May 2008. In Wisconsin, 4,858 students took the Challenge with 1,601 scoring in the top 25 percent and 61 scoring in the top one percent. The U.S. Department of the Treasury administered the 35-question online test of personal finance knowledge. The Charles Schwab Foundation sponsored the scholarships.

Of the 75,000 students who took the exam, the average score was 52 percent, demonstrating that much more work needs to be done to prepare youth for their financial futures. The score correlates closely with scores achieved on surveys conducted by the National Jump$tart Coalition of graduating 12th graders nationwide.

“ These students are outstanding role models and deserve credit for their outstanding achievement,” said DFI Secretary Lorrie Keating Heinemann, Chair of Governor Doyle’s Council on Financial Literacy. “It is exciting that Wisconsin had more winners than any other state but we still have much work to do.”

Approximately 18,000 students who scored in the top 25th percentile of the Challenge received certificates of recognition from the U.S Department of the Treasury, and 362 students who scored at least 94 percent earned a National Financial Literacy Award medal for demonstrating exceptional levels of financial literacy.

The National Financial Literacy Challenge offered an opportunity to raise awareness of the need for financial education and enabled inspired teachers and students to take action. By equipping themselves as individual consumers, students can get involved and play a role in helping themselves, their peers and their families take greater responsibility for sound financial decision-making.

States with multiple winners included:

  • Wisconsin – five (two from the same school)
  • Florida – four (three from the same school)
  • North Carolina – four
  • Washington – three (two from the same school)
  • Pennsylvania – three
  • Connecticut – two

For more information about the National Financial Literacy Challenge, contact David Mancl, Director of DFI’s Office of Financial Literacy at 608-261-9540 or email him at