Team Taft Earn National Honors in Economics Competition

Four Taft students recently traveled to New York City to compete in the National Economics Challenge, sponsored by the Council for Economic Education (CEE) with support from the Wells Fargo Foundation. Representing Taft were (in photo from left), Rina Kurihara ‘24, Lachlan Abbott ‘24, Michael Xu ‘25, Nikas Lukyanov ’24. They were coached by Economics Teacher Kevin Danaher. The team came home with first-runner up honors in the finals of the competition, an event moderated by CNBC’s Steve Leisman and televised live from Wall Street. 

The event is the nation’s most prestigious high school economics competition, with nearly 7,000 US students competing this year. The Challenge recognizes exceptional high school students for their knowledge of economic principles and their ability to apply problem-solving and critical-thinking skills to real-world events.⁠ Taft competed in the NEC David Ricardo Division for first-time competitors who have taken no more than one economic course. 

“Our congratulations to the top finishers, the finalists and indeed to all students and educators who participated in the National Economics Challenge this year,” said Nan J. Morrison, CEE president and chief executive officer. “For these students, economics is not a mystery or a puzzle. The NEC makes learning economics fun by asking each team to apply its skills and knowledge to real world problems, while promoting collaboration and teamwork along with a healthy dose of competition – all useful capabilities for their futures.”


The Council for Economic Education’s mission is to equip K-12 students with the tools and knowledge of personal finance and economics so that they can make better decisions for themselves, their families and their communities. CEE does everything possible to bring this knowledge to over 4 million K-12 students annually, leveraging a network of national affiliates. CEE works to make sure financial and economic education is required in K-12 schools; they provide free training and resources annually to over 40,000 teachers to build their abilities and confidence; and deeply engage students through our competitions and career programs to build skills for life.