Monday, Oct 23, 2017

HHS students win Accounting Bowl

Acct I.jpg
The Harvard High School Accounting I team took first place at the 12th annual McHenry County High School Accounting Bowl April 29. Pictured, from left, front row, are: Breanna Bryan, Dakota Secoy, Cynthia Petrucci, Eric Jimenez, Cheyenne Slavin-Hall and Alex Hathaway. Middle Row: Sam McCloud, Kaylee Bischke, Irais Elizarraraz, Nick Smith, Mary Trejo, Roberto Elizarraraz and Matt Logan. Back Row: Kathleen Grimm, Maty Brincks, Joel Alva, Luis Barcenas, Max Somerville, Daniel Mercado and Angel Sanchez. Not pictured: Coty Reilly. COURTESY PHOTO

Harvard High School’s Accounting I and II classes recently took first place at the 12th annual McHenry County High School Accounting Bowl.

On April 29, students from 10 area high schools gathered at McHenry County College to participate in the event. A total of 164 students from junior and senior level accounting courses participated.

Students were required to take an hour-long paper and pencil test, and additional activities included a scavenger hunt and a lecture by guest speaker Ryan Farrell, a certified public accountant and lawyer working with Zukowski, Rogers, Flood and McArdle in Crystal Lake.

Awards based on test scores also were given as part of the program.

Kathleen Grimm, a HHS accounting teacher who has taught the subject at the school for 21 years, said she believes the annual competition is important for several reasons.

“It is an opportunity for the students to see how many other students are interested in accounting,” she said. “Every year there is a [CPA] guest speaker at the accounting bowl, which is interesting for the students. It is exciting [for them] to see how much they learned in a year about a subject they knew nothing about before.”

“The Accounting Bowl this year was a very fun experience,” said Yesenia Mercado, a HHS senior who has taken two years of accounting courses with Grimm. “Both Accounting I and II teams placed first in the county, and I placed third individually for Accounting II, which was really exciting.”

Tate Miller, a senior in Accounting II, said he enjoys the competitive edge that accounting brings, as well as the business aspect.

“I love how the numbers mean something and can show the true meaning of things,” he said. “The Accounting Bowl was a great time. We always make sure to do our best but also have a lot of fun while doing it. It was great to see our hard work pay off.”

Grimm said she is very proud of her students.

“They took the competition seriously and gave 100 percent effort,” she said. “I enjoyed spending the day with them; they were a lot of fun.” Grimm encourages student interest in pursuing accounting as a career.

“If a student is interested in accounting, I always tell them they have to be a hard worker, motivated and excited to learn something totally new,” she said. “Accounting is important for any student interested in pursuing a career in business. At the end of the year, I usually have several students who decide to major in accounting in college. While the other students may not pursue a career in this field, they have gained valuable knowledge. Accounting is so different from anything they have been doing up to this point in their academic career.”

Several of her students, including Mercado and Miller, have taken serious interest in the subject and wanted to express their appreciation for what she has taught them.

Mercado said she believes Grimm is the “epitome of a great teacher” and has inspired her to pursue a career in the accounting field.

“She’s a great role model, and I feel very lucky to have had her as a teacher for the past two years,” she said.

“Mrs. Grimm is great,” said Miller. “She truly cares about the job she does and has unbelievable passion. She has inspired me by teaching the topic but then going even more in depth. She works hard for the benefit of others, and that is what inspires me the most. I plan on majoring in accounting at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. My time in accounting classes here at HHS has tremendously shaped these plans. There are other factors that have contributed, but Mrs. Grimm has definitely led me to this conclusion.”

Brooke Burnett, another senior who has taken Accounting I and Accounting II with Grimm, said she has elected to major in business when she attends school at Northern Illinois University. She also wanted to thank Grimm for inspiring her.

“Mrs. Grimm is by far the most inspirational teacher I have had throughout my high school career,” she said. “Not only does she make me enjoy learning about accounting, but she also makes me enjoy coming to class too. … In accounting, people make mistakes so easily and they have to figure out what they did wrong. It might feel like your head will explode, but she will make you find your mistake in a heartbeat. Mrs. Grimm was born to be a teacher and will continue to inspire her students as the years go on. I will definitely miss her when I go to college next year, but I will never forget what [she] has taught me.”