Students from Jacksonville, FL take 2015 National LifeSmarts Championship – National Consumers League

April 20, 2015

Contact: Carol McKay, (724) 799-5392,

Seattle, WA—The student team from Paxon School for Advanced Studies in Jacksonville, FL, coached by Kathie Logie, was crowned national LifeSmarts champions in Seattle on Monday, April 20 at the 21st annual National LifeSmarts Championship. In a historically tight final match against the second-place team from Rhode Island’s Barrington High School, the teens from Florida outplayed their opponents in an exciting end to the 4-day competition. The Paxon team took the national title in 2013 as well.

Teams from Honolulu, Hawaii, and Fenton, Michigan placed third.

“We are so proud of these students from Florida, who represented their state program with class and pride,” said LifeSmarts Program Director Lisa Hertzberg. “They played hard and demonstrated their consumer smarts throughout the four-day event. They are true LifeSmarts champions.”

LifeSmarts is a program run by the Washington, DC-based National Consumers League (NCL), the nation’s oldest consumer advocacy organization. It competitively tests high school students’ knowledge of consumer awareness, with subjects including personal finance, health and safety, consumer rights and responsibility, technology, and the environment. LifeSmarts is available in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and in partnership programs with student leadership programs FBLA and FCCLA.

Teens from each of the 34 state champion teams represented at nationals competed as individuals, and the top five scorers received scholarships from NCL. This year’s winners were:

  • Environment: Chris Biesecker, Pennsylvania
  • Personal Finance: Matthew Lamontagne, Rhode Island
  • Health and Safety: Taylor Heslop, Kansas
  • Consumer Rights and Responsibilities: Steven Forte, Rhode Island
  • Technology: Teddy Ni, Rhode Island

Kelsey Becker, from North Dakota, and Matthew Lamontagne from the Rhode Island team, were named the 2015 Students of the Year. Jennifer Bearchell, from Flagstaff, AZ, was named LifeSmarts Coach of the Year. Long-time State Coordinators Bill Wilcox and Joan Kinney, from Wisconsin, earned the Coordinators of the Year honor.

“NCL’s LifeSmarts program is allowing us to rear a generation of consumer-savvy teenagers who often outsmart their parents on issues related to avoiding fraud, credit and debt, and complicated healthcare decisions,” said NCL Executive Director Sally Greenberg. In the 21 years that LifeSmarts has been educating high school and middle school teens on consumer issues, it has grown dramatically, with more than 3 million consumer questions answered at in the online competition during the 2014-2015 program year.

For team photos, event schedules, grid standings, and more, log on to

All winners at the national LifeSmarts Competition received valuable prizes donated by sponsors to the National Consumers League, including scholarships, savings bonds, gift cards, and more. To learn more about the program, contact NCL’s Lisa Hertzberg at 202-835-3323.


About LifeSmarts and the National Consumers League

LifeSmarts is a program of the National Consumers League. State coordinators run the programs on a volunteer basis. For more information, visit:, email or call the National Consumers League’s communications department at 202-835-3323.

The National Consumers League, founded in 1899, is America’s pioneer consumer organization. Our mission is to protect and promote social and economic justice for consumers and workers in the United States and abroad. For more information, visit