Accounting challenge

Students from Marion High School compete in the team challenge portion of the competition. (Photo by Carson VanBuskirk) 

February 07, 2023

Hundreds of high school, community college students vie for prizes at SIU’s Accounting Challenge

by Christi Mathis

(Note: Editors, please see hometowns) 

CARBONDALE, Ill. — About 200 high school and community college students from up to 100 miles came to Southern Illinois University Carbondale to vie for college scholarships, trophies and other prizes during the 25th annual Accounting Challenge, sponsored by the School of Accountancy in the College of Business and Analytics. 

Participants competed in both individual and team contests Feb. 3, testing their accounting knowledge and skills as well as their problem-solving expertise and ingenuity.   

The event launched with the students competing in individual written accounting quizzes. The participants in each division who earned the highest scores won certificates and scholarships worth up to $500 if they attend SIU and major in accounting.  

Top individual honors 

The individual contest winners listed by event, school, along with their potential scholarship earnings, were: 

Accounting I – High School 

First place, $500 – Adeline Smith, O’Fallon Township High School. 

Second place, $300 – (tie) Andrew Hill, O’Fallon Township High School; Ashleigh Jamruck, Mater Dei High School; Waylan Van Horne, Centralia High School. 

Third place, $250 – (tie) Carson Green, Centralia High School; Mia Hoyte, Kylee Nesbit and Kaitlyn Tillock – all from O’Fallon Township High School. 

Advanced Accounting (Accounting II) – High School  

First place, $500 – (tie) William Graham and Ryder Koger, both from Centralia High School; Nathan Hendry, Marion High School. 

Second place, $300 – (tie) Mahek Desai, Flora High School; Tyler Malone, Marion High School. 

Third place, $250 – (tie) Raelyn Dearing, Centralia High School; Caverly Oates and Jacob Hall, both from Marion High School. 

Community College 

First place, $500 – Jensen Boatwright, Kaskaskia College. 

Second place, $300 – Jordyn Duensing, Kaskaskia College. 

Teams took on challenge with creativity 

The students then paired up for the team portion of the competition during which they faced a challenge, created just for them by Larry Busch, an emeritus SIU School of Art and Design faculty member. Each team was given 12 whiffle balls, which they had to move across the room using brain power and very limited supplies. The goal was to test their communication skills, strategic planning and creative resources. Lots of laughs and cheering pervaded the air during the intense rivalry. 

Top teams 

The team competition winners, listed by division and school, along with the names of team members and their teachers, were: 

Accounting I – High School Team 

First place – O’Fallon Township High School Team 3: Adeline Smith, Emma Janning, Kylee Nesbit, Danae Tyus. 

Second place – Mater Dei High School: Jack Shelton, Ashleigh Jamruck, Jake Richter. 

Accounting II – High School Team 

First place – Marion High School Team 7 – Tommy Wiseman, Nathan Hendry, Haylee Lambert 

Second place – Flora High School Team 8 – Mahek Desai, Ava Cammon, Justin Pietz. 

Community College 

First place – Kaskaskia College Team 2 - Jensen Boatwright, Jordynn Duensing, Esai Uribe, Chloe Tepe. 

SIU students direct the event 

The accounting challenge is coordinated by SIU students with assistance from faculty and staff and continues a quarter-century tradition, organizers say. The 2023 challenge’s student coordinator is Jaiden Sanders, a senior accounting major from Vienna, Illinois.