New Hampshire defeats Massachusetts to take 2014 National LifeSmarts Championship title – National Consumers League

April 29, 2014 

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

Orlando, FL—The student team from New Hampshire, Mascoma Valley Regional High School, coached by Shawn Joyce, was crowned national LifeSmarts champions in Orlando on Tuesday, April 29. In the final match against the second-place team from Milton High School of Massachusetts, the teens from New Hampshire outplayed their opponents in an exciting end to the 4-day competition.

Teams from Jacksonville, Florida, and Barrington, Rhode Island placed third.

“We are so proud of these students from New Hampshire, 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 $500 scholarships from NCL. This year’s winners were:

  • Environment: Amber Habib, PA
  • Personal Finance: Decklan Cerza, PA
  • Health and Safety: Alexander Garant, MI
  • Consumer Rights and Responsibilities: Matthew Lamontagne, RI
  • Technology: David Burns, FL

Cerza, from Pennsylvania’s Dallas High School, was named the 2014 Student of the Year. Gayle Murdock, from Friona High School in Texas, was named LifeSmarts Coach of the Year. Long-time State Coordinator Merliee Thoenen earned the Coordinator 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 20 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 2013-2014 20th anniversary 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