By Tim Leeds
An internship for teachers went so well last summer that now Havre High students are attending as well.
Robin Soyer, a math teacher at Havre High, worked with Gus Sharp of Waddell & Reed last summer to see how to apply her classes to the real world in the field of finance.
Tamara Johnson, Havre High School-to-Career coordinator, said the program went so well Waddell & Reed and the high school decided to pursue a partnership that would include students as well.
An investment group has been formed to attend classes at the Havre Waddell & Reed office in the Holiday Village Shopping Center. Johnson said the group will meet for an hour once a week for the rest of the school year.
Johnson said students had to submit a resume as part of the application for the group. Students were then interviewed by a panel from Waddell & Reed and the high school, she said. She said the interviews lasted a half hour and consisted of six questions for each student. The students received feedback after the interview about their performance, Johnson said.
Johnson said all of the applicants did so well on their interviews that the panel decided to accept all six. The six participants this year are Tyler Bebee, son of Steve and Mary Pat Bebee; Clif Cunningham, son of Denna and Sharon Cunningham; Chrystal Kerr, daughter of Richard and Rozan Kerr; Adam Landgraf, son of Joe and Debbie Landgraf; Jayson Nissen, son of Charles Nissen and Amy Booker; and Travis Velk, son of Mark and Kemi Velk.
Soyer and Johnson are also attending the group's classes, as is Vicki Proctor, business education teacher at the high school. Gus Sharp, the district manager of the Havre District for Waddell & Reed, and Willard Fladager, a registered representative for the company, will represent the investment company for the roup.
Sharp said this class will teach the basics of financial planning. He said part of the process will include separating the students into two groups. One will be students who will use the information in their personal lives, the other will be those who want to pursue financial planning as a career.
Johnson said the material in this class will include stocks, bonds, mutual funds, risk management, risk versus growth, and the time, value, money and compounding equation. She said each student will receive a "dummy" account he or she will use to implement the knowledge learned in the group. Additionally, she said, the group will receive seed money from the School-to-Career (STC) grant to make an actual account.
Sharp said if enough interest is shown in a career in finance, a second class could be formed to teach advanced financial planning. Bebee said he is planning to pursue a career in investment banking, and plans to attend the University of Montana-Missoula to do so. That is why he is in the investment group, he said.
The other students said their interests range from looking for new experiences to interests in the stock market. Cunningham said he's always watched the market and would like to learn more.
Nissen said the interview was an interesting new experience, and his interest in new things was why he applied.
Velk said he has had some experience in markets from watching the cattle market and wants to learn more.
Kerr said she wants to learn more about money. She said she hopes to learn a lot that she can use for her finances.
Landgraf said he wants to learn more about these matters and just wants to become more knowledgeable.s
Johnson said they hope to use this as a pilot program for future groups. She said the group should help develop communications skills, decision making and negotiations skills as well as financial knowledge.