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WMA wins state Middle School Econ Challenge

Wilbraham & Monson Academy is proud of its Center for Entrepreneurship, Economics & Finance program.

What many people might not know is the CEEF mindset isn’t just for our Upper School students.

Led by CEEF Chairperson Jim Irzyk, three students – Padraig Dunbar ’26, Dylan Shonack ’26 and Narayan Kalia ’26 – placed first in the state in the Middle School Division at the National Economic Challenge Division in late April.

The NEC, a nationwide contest that is held in each state, tests a student’s understanding of microeconomics, macroeconomic and overall comprehension of the world’s economy.

WMA’s competitors took a 30-minute, 35-question exam in the Shenkman Center.


Mr. Irzyk on WMA winning its division: “The team of Dylan, Narayan and Padraig were eager and excited to enter the competition. They took two practice tests on their own to become familiar with the test questions and potential concepts. Some online resources were also available to help them prepare for the test. We’re thrilled they entered and placed first. These three young men are also active FEB (Finance, Entrepreneurship & Business Society) participants and WMA is fortunate to have them for many years to come.”

Dylan on why he wanted to participate in the contest: “The reason I came to this school is because of the available extracurricular activities offered. I was initially offered a spot in the FEB club and Mr. Irzyk told me it would be a great opportunity for me to learn and get prepared for Upper School classes. It was a great experience and definitely something I am very proud of.”

Padraig on competing in the Econ Challenge: Mr. Irzyk started an economy club (in the Middle School) and asked if I would like to join. I did, along with two other middle schoolers. Part of this club was the Econ Challenge. I thought it would be a fun learning experience for me. I never expected to win, but with the help from the other two students we were able to.”

Narayan on what he likes about economics: “I like economics because there is something interesting about how finance and economics makes the world go around. I also like the complexity of finance.” 


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