Bullitt Central High School junior Victoria Mills is one of four students in Kentucky to earn a perfect score on the National Finance Capability Challenge.
The Challenge is an initiative designed to engage educators in the teaching of personal finance and to increase the financial knowledge and capability of high school aged youth across the United States so they can take control over their financial futures. It is sponsored by the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the U.S. Department of Education.
The Challenge feature questions on earnings, spending, saving and investing, borrowing and protecting against risk.
Victoria is a member of the school banking institution Cougar Savings and Loan which is operated by the Finance and Banking Class. Students Jeff Calvert, Alicia Carper, Wade Curtsinger, Ian Hobbs, Andrew Jackson, Michael McBride, Ryan Schnellenberger, James Singleton, Rachel Thacker, Dean West, Jade Whitehouse and Luke Whitmore also took the Challenge and scored an 80 percent average.
The state average score was 67.39 percent while the national average score was 69 percent. A total of 101 students scored in the top 20 percent, including 13 Bullitt Central students.
Over 80,000 students nationwide took the test and 583 of them earned a perfect score. Class sponsor Beau Johnston was quite impressed with the student performance.
“I am very proud of their efforts,” he said. “These students work hard learning banking and finance and the results prove they take it seriously,”
Victoria is the 16 year-old daughter of Tina and Scott Mills. She credited listening to her teacher as the primary reason she answered all 40 questions correctly.
“I just pay attention in class,” she said. “Mr. Johnston does a nice job explaining financial practices and how they relate to the real world. He helped me realize I cannot depend on others for financial success and stability. I have to plan ahead.”
Victoria said none of the questions were that difficult because they all involved multiple answers.
“I took my time, read each question carefully and selected the proper answer,” she explained. “The entire test was online.”
All students were awarded Certificates of Recognition for their achievement
Victoria has another year of high school but is seriously considering the University of Louisville as her college.
For now, she enjoys attending Bullitt Central and likes studying the world of business and finance.
Praise for Johnston’s instructional practices also came from Victoria’s classmates.
“He knows everything about banking yet his teaching style is more unscripted,” said Wade Curtsinger.
“Mr. Johnston talks to us like adults,” said Dean West. “He doesn’t talk or make us feel inferior. He treats us with respect.”
Luke Whitmore recalled a saying from his father that applies to banking class in general and school in particular.
“My Dad is always saying you can’t get out of it so you should get it into you,” Luke said.
Bullitt County Public Schools has nearly 13,000 students in grades kindergarten through 12. There are 25 school facilities, a certified staff of over 850 and a classified staff of over 850 working every school day to make the district the leader in educational excellence.