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School Notes: Another Win for Cardigan

  • Ed Ramos teaches a ninth-grade algebra class at Cardigan Mountain School, which had two winning teams in a statewide stock-picking contest called Smart Market. (Rob Strong photograph)

    Ed Ramos teaches a ninth-grade algebra class at Cardigan Mountain School, which had two winning teams in a statewide stock-picking contest called Smart Market. (Rob Strong photograph)

  • Jordan Abisch listens during Ed Ramos’ algebra class at Cardigan Mountain School on Friday. Ramos’ students have done well in the annual Smart Market contest. (Rob Strong photograph)

    Jordan Abisch listens during Ed Ramos’ algebra class at Cardigan Mountain School on Friday. Ramos’ students have done well in the annual Smart Market contest. (Rob Strong photograph)

  • Ed Ramos teaches a ninth-grade algebra class at Cardigan Mountain School, which had two winning teams in a statewide stock-picking contest called Smart Market. (Rob Strong photograph)
  • Jordan Abisch listens during Ed Ramos’ algebra class at Cardigan Mountain School on Friday. Ramos’ students have done well in the annual Smart Market contest. (Rob Strong photograph)

The entrance to Cardigan Mountain School’s Brewster Hall serves as a testament to the school’s savvy young investors. Lining the walls are plaques from the school’s successful run in a statewide stock-picking contest.

Two teams from the boys’ boarding school in Canaan, which teaches students in the sixth through ninth grades, won both the middle and high school divisions of the latest Smart Market competition, in which students with a hypothetical $100,000 invest in the stock market for 10 weeks between October and December.

Cardigan’s ninth-grade team, christened “Bigg Doggs,” won the high school competition by turning a quick profit of nearly $29,000, while the middle school team “RS,” which consisted of eighth-graders Jeff Shi and Raymond Bai, pocketed a hypothetical $50,000.

In developing an investing strategy, “We were searching the penny stocks first,” said ninth-grader Veo Chae of Team Bigg Doggs. Eventually his squad. which included fellow ninth-graders Will Humphrey, “Z” Ikeda, Paul Capozzi and Chris Alberigi, decided to invest in Orient Express Hotels. That proved a wise move, as the hotel chain received an acquisition offer from the Tata Group of India last fall, driving up the stock price.

The team opted to put all their money in Orient Express, admittedly a risky move. “If it was our money, we wouldn’t have done that,” Chae said. His teammate Ikeda appreciated the competition’s opportunity of “being allowed to lose money, but not get yelled at.”

Cardigan was first invited to compete in the Smark Market Challenge, which is sponsored by Fidelity Investments in Merrimack, N.H., and the New Hampshire Union-Leader, in 2003, and longtime math teacher Ed Ramos quickly saw a real-life application for what he was teaching. “Most of these kids, I’m sure their parents are investors, so I wanted them to find out what the stock market is all about,” he said.

The other ninth-grade team, nicknamed the “72s” in homage to a classic investing rule, took a more traditional approach to investing. “We diversified our portfolio a little bit,” said Jordan Abisch, by purchasing stock in companies like U.S. Steel and Amgen pharmaceuticals. “That way, we could minimize loss.” Abisch, the team captain, also advised his classmates to go after stocks that had at least $1 billion in market capitalization and a price-to-earnings ratio of less than 20. “We stayed away from penny stocks. Long-term, they’re never profitable,” he said.

Cardigan is currently enjoying a five-year winning streak in the Smart Market competition, but there’s no secret formula to the school’s success. Ramos said that the only piece of advice he gives to students is to invest in volatile stocks, since the competition runs just two months, and investing in a fluctuating stock can turn a nice profit. Other than that?

“Luck,” Ramos said, laughing. “I can’t attribute it to anything but luck.”

Of Note

The Orange County Parent Child Center in Chelsea has recently expanded to a second building next door to its headquarters at the corner of Route 110 and Bobbinshop Road. The Families Learning Together program, which allows young pregnant women, parents and others to complete their education, develop job skills and learn the essentials of being a good parent, is now located in the second building, while the former Playschool building is home to an early childhood education program for children ages six weeks to three years. For more information about the center’s programs, contact 802-685-2264 or visit www.orangecountypcc.org.

Deans’ Lists

e_STnSNote: All dean’s list announcements pertain to work completed in the fall 2012 term.

∎ ∎ Franklin and Marshall College: Daniel Fox, Quechee.

∎ Northeastern University: Julia Kravitz, White River Junction; Benjamin Leathe, Windsor; Julian Scherding, Woodstock; Christopher Stephens, Norwich; Brita Ulf, North Pomfret; Brita Van Fossen, South Royalton; and Hilary White, North Pomfret.

∎ Quinnipiac University: Jill K. Underwood, Hanover.

∎ Skidmore College: Anna Sand, Woodstock.

∎ University of New Hampshire: Anna Allen, Lyme, highest honors; Hannah Arnold, New London, high honors; Kaitlyn Arnold, Grantham, honors; Maisea Bailey, New London, highest honors; McKayla Baker, Charlestown, highest honors; Michael Balch, Etna, high honors; Nicholas Bates, Newport, honors; Carter Bascom, New London, high honors; Anna Berg, Grantham, highest honors; Matthew Blandin, Grantham, honors; Bentley Bonnell, Piermont, high honors; Alexander Bourne, Cornish, high honors; Samantha Bouvier, Newport, highest honors; Amber Brooks, Claremont, highest honors; Laura Brown, Lebanon, high honors; Nathaniel Brown, Lyme, highest honors; Jacob Buskey, Lebanon, honors; Hannah Caldwell, Lyme, honors; Ian Cameron, Lebanon, honors; Mikayla Collins, Plainfield, high honors; Samantha Davis, Lebanon, honors; Suzanne DelloRusso, Charlestown, highest honors; Robert Edmunds, New London, highest honors; Kyle Farr, Lebanon, highest honors; Brooke Flowers, Norwich, highest honors; Ian Gagnon, Enfield, highest honors; Jacqueline Gilbert, Lyme, high honors; Justin Gilman, Claremont, honors; Arturo Hernandez-Martinez, Hanover, high honors; Alejandra Herrera, North Haverhill, high honors; Anne Howard, Springfield, high honors; Alexander Ivanov, Hanover, honors; Molly Jackson, West Lebanon, high honors; Kimberly Kancir, Bridgewater Corners, highest honors, Elizabeth Kern, Cornish, high honors; Brian Kispert, Hanover, highest honors; Katja Kleyensteuber, Claremont, high honors; Brett Kolmeister, Hanover, high honors; and Ryan Kolmeister, Hanover, high honors.

Also, Kendra LaFromboise, Lebanon, honors; Danielle Lewis, Woodstock, honors; Emily Lohr, Hanover, highest honors; Kenneth Louzier of Lebanon, high honors; Peter Maxfield, Enfield, honors; Ruth McBain, Lebanon, high honors; Kelsey McGovern, Plainfield, honors; Christopher Montana, Cornish, honors; Elizabeth Natola, Lebanon, highest honors; Duncan Nelson, Canaan, high honors; Kathryn Nelson, Newport, highest honors; Jessica Newkirk, New London, high honors; Caitlin Palmer, New London, high honors; Thomas Paquet, Randolph, highest honors; Phillip Parsons, Sunapee, high honors; Grace Patton, Lyme, high honors; Robert Peiffer, Hanover, honors; Jessica Phaneuf, Claremont, honors; Abby Plummer, Plainfield, honors; Brittany Pitkin, Newport, highest honors; Alyssa Reetz, Meriden, highest honors; Joshua Richardson, Pike, high honors; William Roy, Grantham, honors; Michela Salusti-Simpson, Woodstock, high honors; Agnes Schissel, Newport, high honors; Sloane Schuchman, Hanover, high honors.

Also, Heather Skehan, Hartland, high honors; Gregory Stragnell, Hanover, honors; Emily Tassinari, Meriden, high honors, Priscilla Tengdin, Hanover, highest honors; Yolanda Tselepidakis, Hanover, high honors; Emily Varnese, West Lebanon, high honors; Timothy Vorachak, Lebanon, high honors; Jared Walker, Bridgewater, highest honors; John Wallace, Hanover, highest honors; Madeleine Wells-Bogue, Grantham, honors; Sarah Wiggins, Newport, highest honors; Cole Williams, Lyme, honors; Spencer Williams-Hurley, Newport, highest honors; Christina Wolf, New London, honors; Laura Yurkosky, Lyme, honors.

School Notes appears most Tuesdays. Email news and announcements to kbryan@vnews.com.