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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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SMG state championship taken by Thoreau High School for the second time in a row

Students from Thoreau, Navajo, Deming and Artesia have taken top honors in the spring 2005 Stock Market Game sponsored by New Mexico State University's College of Business Administration and Economics and the New Mexico Securities Division.

second semester in a row, the State Championship was captured by Thoreau High School students. This spring the winning team consisted of Eldora Thompson (captain), Lashonda Jones and Michelle Henio, students of teacher Bruce Lewis. The team began the program in early February with $100,000 and finished 10 weeks later with $111,216.

In second place was a team of eighth grade students from Navajo Middle School. Jasfert Peshtony (captain), Derek Lee, Quintana Nez and Shana Roanhorse were advised by teacher Bill Church. Third place in the statewide competition was snagged by students from Deming High. Flor Najera (captain), Alejandra Parra and Joanna Valdez were guided by teacher Jorge Avalos.

First place in the Bull Division (grades 9-12) of the Essay Contest went to Chelsea Silverthorne of Deming High School (teacher Noel Nuņez) and the top essay in the Bear Division (grades 4-8) was submitted by Kelli Richards of Yeso Elementary (teacher Sarah Eulenbach) in Artesia.

An innovative method for teaching a wide variety of subjects, SMG is a computer simulated competition played this spring by almost 3,400 New Mexico participants.

"The stock market was fairly lackluster this spring, but students were able to find some good stocks on the move and several made gains on the Sears-KMart merger," said Dorothy Hughes, SMG coordinator at NMSU. "It was apparent the students were challenged by the market conditions and gained a great deal from participating in our program. Teachers were especially receptive to our new booklets correlating SMG lessons to the New Mexico educational standards in several disciplines, which will also help with testing."

SMG teams begin with an imaginary $100,000 and during a 10-week period each semester make transactions with real stocks and mutual funds traded on the three major U.S. stock exchanges for which they are given actual closing prices. Players may buy, sell, short sell, and short cover, and all transactions are charged a 2 percent broker fee. Teams may buy on margin and are charged 7 percent interest. Teams receive 5 percent interest on cash balances and receive dividends that are paid on stocks in their portfolios during the game. The goal is to increase the value of the portfolio as much as possible in 10 weeks. The portfolios and ranking reports are updated daily.

SMG is the only stock market simulation-based educational program endorsed nationally by both the industry (the Securities Industry Association) and the regulators of the industry (the Securities and Exchange Commission). Teams conduct all their transactions and perform much of their research online, aided by a number of other educational resources and Web sites, many of which are only available to registered SMG teachers and students.

Teachers are issued an ID for a Teacher Support Center where they can view their teams' portfolios, take online tutorials, plan lessons and access the Learning Resource Center where many downloadable lesson plans and exercises are available.

Each semester the top state, regional, and essay contest winners in New Mexico are presented plaques, T-shirts and certificates, and every participating teacher's top team members are also awarded certificates. Hughes said more than 320 awards were presented this spring. In addition, winners from both semesters are invited to attend an awards luncheon in May.

Other New Mexico winners include: Northern High Division - First Place teacher Karina Doyle's students at St. Michael's High School (Santa Fe); Second Place teacher Lisa Lucero's students at Kirtland Central High School; Third Place teacher Keith Neil's students at Farmington High School. Southern High Division - First Place teacher Michael Jones' students at Cliff High School; and Second Place teacher Philip Daly's students at Las Cruces High School. Northern Middle Division - First Place teacher Michael Johnson's students at Los Alamos Middle School; and Second Place teacher Bill Church's students from Navajo Middle School. Southern Middle Division - First Place teacher Stephanie Gardner's students at Berrendo Middle School (Roswell); and Second Place Curtis Crane's students at Mountain View Middle School (Alamogordo). Elementary Division - First Place teacher Irene Morris' students at Ramah Elementary School; and Second Place teacher Olen J. Hedges' students at Santa Rosa Elementary School.

Before the game each semester, Hughes offers training workshops, during which game rules, research techniques, classroom uses of the program and general investing information are provided. For more information or to participate in the program, contact Hughes at (505) 646-3690, dhughes@nmsu.edu or log onto the main Web site, http://www.stockmarketgame.org

Nationally, SMG has been in operation for 29 years in all 50 states and has served more than 9,000,000 students during this time. It is administered by the Foundation for Investor Education, the non-profit branch of the Securities Industry Association, and receives financial support and donated teaching materials from many major corporations, brokerage firms and the three stock exchanges.