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Little Rock's Central High Captures First Place in District


ST. LOUIS — A team of students from Central High School in Little Rock earned first place in the Federal Reserve's Eighth District "Fed Challenge," an economics competition sponsored by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. The Central High students will go on to represent the Federal Reserve's Eighth District at the Federal Reserve System's national competition May 18-21 in Washington, D.C.

The Central High students are Shariq Ali, Stuart Shirrell, Zohoori Cameron, Brent Sodman, Hilary Ledwell and Charles Meyers (alternate). The students' teacher is George West.

Each team made a 15-minute presentation based on research of economic conditions and then recommended a course of action for monetary policy. These presentations were made before a panel of judges in a mock Federal Open Market Committee format. The teams then answered questions based on their presentations and research.

"The Central High team's technical knowledge of the nation's economy is truly remarkable, "said Robert Hopkins, manager of the St. Louis Fed's Little Rock Branch. "Though the competition lasts only 30 minutes, Mr. West and his team spent hundreds of hours preparing for this rigorous competition. The students represented themselves, their parents, their teacher and their school exceedingly well. In turn, I look for them to represent the Eighth Federal Reserve District well in Washington, D.C., later next month. Go Tigers!"

The judges for the competition were Robert H. Rasche, senior vice president and director of research for the St. Louis Fed; Dr. Timothy McBride, professor of health management and policy at Saint Louis University; and Bryan Bezold, chief economist for the Regional Chamber & Growth Association of St. Louis.

With branches in Little Rock, Louisville and Memphis, the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis serves the Eighth Federal Reserve District, which includes all of Arkansas, eastern Missouri, southern Indiana, southern Illinois, western Kentucky, western Tennessee and northern Mississippi. The St. Louis Fed is one of 12 regional Reserve banks that, along with the Board of Governors in Washington, D.C., comprise the Federal Reserve System. As the nation's central bank, the Federal Reserve System formulates U.S. monetary policy, regulates state-chartered member banks and bank holding companies, and provides payment services to financial institutions and the U.S. government.

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