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Pictured from left are the JM LifeSmarts team members: Miranda Taylor, Shelby Moore, MacK Allen and Alyssia Brannan. The team is standing in front of the school.
Pictured from left are the JM LifeSmarts team members: Miranda Taylor, Shelby Moore, MacK Allen and Alyssia Brannan.

Despite an on-going pandemic and remote learning for the past three months, students within the business program at John Marshall have not slowed down.

The classroom may look a little different this year, but the outcome of learning and teamwork have not changed. What used to be a team huddled around the table, was instead a single screen of little boxes on the video call, but students are resilient and adapt quite easily. Despite all challenges, John Marshall High School’s LifeSmarts team came out on top of the state competition for the third year in a row and will be representing West Virginia at the National Championship in April. 

Teens from across the state competed online for a chance to participate in the state finals held in early February. JM’s state champion team includes Miranda Taylor, MacK Allen and Alyssia Brannan. The group has qualified for the national LifeSmarts competition, which will be held virtually. This year’s team will join 2020 team member Shelby Moore to compete in a combined 2020/2021 competition. Taylor also serves on the 2020 team. Due to COVID-19, the 2020 national competition was postponed.

“LifeSmarts participants in WV have gained many of the consumer ‘smarts’ they’ll need to make it in the real world,” said Megan Pintus, John Marshall’s coach. “We’re proud to have our team represent the Mountain State at the National LifeSmarts Championship for the third time in a row. This program is the answer to the ‘I wish they would have taught me that in high school’ statement you hear so often from adults.” 

LifeSmarts, a consumer education competition that challenges teens in grades 9-12 in the areas of personal finance, health and safety, the environment, technology and consumer rights and responsibilities, is a program of the National Consumers League.  Through the program, competitors are exposed to topics which may not be directly taught in the classroom but are paramount to personal success after high school. Likewise, many topics which are included in a majority of high school courses are related to real life situations and reinforced through hands on activities.