University News

High School Students Show Their Skills at WIU Accounting Challenge

March 30, 2009

Printer friendly version

MACOMB, IL -- Area high school students demonstrated their financial accounting knowledge on Western Illinois University's Macomb campus last Friday at the Fourth Annual Accounting Challenge. Sponsored by WIU's accountancy department, Beta Alpha Psi (BAP) and the Illinois CPA Society, the event not only gave area students a chance to showcase their accounting skills through a written competition, but it also provided them with information about Western's accountancy department and College of Business and Technology.

According to Cheryl Westen, accountancy instructor and BAP faculty adviser, during the exam, the high school students' teachers participated in an Educator Roundtable, which included discussion about the accounting profession, accounting education and the CPA (certified public accountant) exam. Western faculty leading the roundtable included Jack Elfrink, chair of the accountancy department; Penny Yunker, professor of accountancy and former chair of WIU's accountancy department; and Marcia Lucas, former accountancy professor and the Accounting Challenge coordinator.

"Area high school students were introduced to some of Western's BAP students," Westen said. "Following the exam, they also participated in an accounting Jeopardy game led by the BAP students. After lunch, we distributed the awards," she added.

Awards were given to students with the highest individual score from each school, which included Derek Lessard, Macomb High School; Myranda Miller, Hamilton High School; Samantha Greiner, Knoxville High School; and Jessica Boyle, Illini West High School.

The top five highest individual scores overall were: Derek Lessard, Macomb High School (first place); Wenhao Weng, Macomb High School (second place); Amber Hansen, Macomb High School (third place); Eric Mutch, Macomb High School (fourth place); and
Brandi Thorman, Macomb High School (fifth place).

According to Westen, Lessard, Weng and Hansen were also awarded WIU scholarships in the amounts of $500, $300 and $200, respectively. Macomb High School teams, taught by Merikay Potter, swept all three team trophies, Westen added.

The winning teams and their members were: Accounting Super League (Macomb High School) with team members Jeffrey Zhou, Travis Zscheck and Derek Lessard (first place); The Real Super League, with team members Tyler Lueck, Michelle Ray, Benjamin Streit and Brandi Thorman (second place); and DaWangstas, with team members Kaylea Jackson, Lindsay Gutting, Sophie Pircon and Wenhao Weng (third place).

For more information, contact Westen at (309) 298-1023 or Learn more about WIU's accountancy department at

Posted By: Teresa Koltzenburg (
Office of University Communications & Marketing