Students compete at McHenry County College's 15th annual High School Accounting Bowl
Top accounting students from eight area high schools used their mental brawn to battle for trophies while demonstrating their numerical ability and problem-solving skills at McHenry County College's 15th annual High School Accounting Bowl.
A total of 165 students -- the most in the history of the competition -- were divided into two levels, Accounting 1, which included first-year accounting students and Accounting 2, for those competing two years of high school accounting. The students took a one-hour long paper and pencil test that included true-false and multiple choice questions. Students also participated in an accounting Jeopardy game and a scavenger hunt to find classrooms and student support offices at the college.
"Students were more prepared than last year, because their exam scores were higher," said Don Curfman, MCC accounting instructor and accounting bowl organizer. "The teachers did a great job preparing their students."
Curfman noted that 10 percent of area high school accounting students who enroll at MCC after graduation take college level accounting classes. He said MCC accepts a full year of high school accounting classes as credit for MCC's Basic Accounting (ACC110) and students with two years of high school accounting may get credit for MCC's Financial Accounting (ACC151).
"With articulation agreements with the high schools, many of these students are already earning college credit while taking Accounting," Curfman said. "These are exceptional leaders in the college accounting classroom."
Guest speaker was Bradley Comm, CPA, who works as chief financial officer for N-JET in Wheeling. He is certified in financial planning and analysis and is a certified treasury professional and a certified management accountant. He spoke to the students about his pathway toward becoming a certified public accountant.
Harvard High School captured first place in the Accounting 1 team category, followed by second place finisher Marengo High School and third place finisher Crystal Lake South. McHenry and Woodstock finished fourth and fifth place, respectively.
Harvard Accounting 1 team members included: Catherine Austin, Jacob Cobb, Christian Escobar, Nancy Hernandez, Alfredo Herrera, Isaiah Jimenez, Holly Kruckenberg, Brett Lehman, Andrea Luna, Lizette Martinez, Kayla McCloud, Luis Mercado, Cole Miller, Kelly Riley, Alexis Robles, Ramiro Sanchez, Rodrigo Silva, Dylan Stephens, Ryan Stephens and Aileen Valdez.
Winners of Accounting 2 were separated by only one point. Alden-Hebron won first place with 122 points and Harvard finished second with 121 points.
Alden-Hebron Accounting 2 team members included: Thomas Baldwin, Hannah Hough, Tally Lalor and Emily Webber.
Additionally, Johnsburg High School was recognized for the Most Creative T-shirt design which pronounced "JHS Accounting: Happiness is … Debits = Credits."
Individual winners in Accounting 1 were: Catherine Austin, Harvard, first place; Kelly Riley, second place; and Cole Miller, third place, all of Harvard; Luke Saporta, Marengo, fourth place; Jacob Cobb, Harvard, fifth place; Andrew Cazares, McHenry, first finalist; Cristian Escobar, Harvard, second finalist; Cyde Chanthalansy, Marengo, third finalist; James Trainor, Marengo, fourth finalist; and Cailey M. Guiffre, Crystal Lake South, fifth finalist.
Individual winners in Accounting 2 were: Elizabeth Wright, Harvard, first place; Emily Webber, Alden-Hebron, second place; Hannah Hough, Alden-Hebron, third place; Thomas Baldwin, Alden-Hebron, fourth place; and David Mercado, Harvard, fifth place.
"Students look forward to this event all year. Some sign up for high school accounting because they want to compete in MCC's accounting bowl," said Kathleen Grimm, Harvard High School accounting teacher.
"The MCC Accounting Bowl helps students with networking; it helps them see that there's a path to a career," said Terri Szramek, Johnsburg High School accounting teacher.