For immediate release - May 12, 2010
For more information contact:
Jo Ann Murray
Project Director
Invest Ed® STARS
(405) 325-6882
Amy Sanders
Events Coordinator
Invest Ed® STARS
(405) 325-7452

NORMAN, OK – The Invest Ed® “Students Tracking and Researching the Stock Market” (STARS) unbiased investment education program recognized its spring winners at an awards ceremony held May 8 on the University of Oklahoma campus. This project challenges high school students to learn the importance of investing as a long-range tool, securities fraud awareness, and time value of money. The May 8 event was the tenth semi-annual awards ceremony for Invest Ed® and its second-largest spring participation of 1,648 Oklahoma high school students.

Report winners representing six regions and one overall state winner are honored each semester. Congratulations to the spring 2010 winners: Jef Danusantoso, sophomore, Mount Saint Mary High School, Central region; Sara Gibbs and Brady Wilton, juniors, Claremore High School, and Alex Harbaugh, sophomore, Jenks High School, NE tie; Shelby Sublett, senior, Weatherford High School, and Kellie Campbell, junior, Seiling High School, NW tie; Kelsi Tuthill, sophomore, Chickasha High School, SC; John-Michael Montgomery, senior, Lawton Eisenhower High School, SW; Dy’Cota Miller, junior, Hartshorne High School, representing SE region, STATE winner.

One student report participant wrote, “This project has taught me the importance of knowing what is going on in the world today. Since I began the project I have been reading and watching the news.” In another report, a student wrote, “It excites me to know that with the knowledge I have gained through the extent of this project, I will one day be successful in the investing world.”

In her opening remarks, STARS Project Director Jo Ann Murray stated, “Investment education is necessary to provide today’s high school students effective money management tools so they can become financially independent. Securities fraud education is necessary to teach students how to protect that money. Individuals building financial independence create better economic conditions, not only for themselves, but also for the state and beyond.”

“I can’t think of any program or any program director that is singularly better than [all of the staff at Invest Ed®]. It’s a program that is making an impact, not only state-wide, but nationally. This program would not have any kind of context without the stewardship and the involvement of Mr. Irving Faught,” remarked Dr. Richard Little, Associate Vice President for University Outreach at The University of Oklahoma.

Irving Faught, Administrator for the Oklahoma Securities Commission, addressed the winners, “As you young people mature, our society is going to place a great deal of responsibility on you. If you don’t understand the underpinnings of the economy of this country, we are probably doomed. Why STARS? Well, in my opinion, it’s simply the best. There is no comparable program that emphasizes the process, and that’s what STARS is. It is a process of critical thinking.”

Six of the winning teachers along with four administrators were in attendance Saturday. Bill Trice, eight-time winning teacher from Lawton Eisenhower High School, commented on the Invest Ed® STARS program, “We can educate our people to understand that even though there is a dip in the market, it’s not the end of life.” Sue Phillips, Hartshorne teacher of state winner Dy’Cota Miller, stated, “[I am thankful] for the curriculum you developed for me. These children are getting real-life learning experience in a global economy.”

Student participants researched stocks, decided which stocks to buy, and completed a risk assessment. Students set investment goals, created an online portfolio, and tracked results. At the end of the tracking period, students prepared a report detailing their investment process and explained what they learned. Winners are selected based on their reports rather than ending values of their portfolios.

Ripple-effect student benefits reported by participating teachers include improved critical thinking, math, and research skills; additionally, students practice setting goals, meeting deadlines, and writing reports. Participating students are experiencing the impact of compound interest and opportunity cost. Participating students are opening savings accounts, buying CDs, and starting Roth IRAs.

Invest Ed® is managed by the Center for Independent and Distance Learning within University of Oklahoma Outreach, College of Continuing Education and the Oklahoma Securities Commission. Since its inception in July 2005, 859 Oklahoma teachers have been trained, and 12,387 students have participated. A new semester begins September 2010.

For more information or to watch a recording of the May 8 awards ceremony, visit


Invest Ed® is an unbiased, non-profit investment education program with the sole objective of increasing Oklahoman's investment knowledge and fraud protection. This multi-faceted investment literacy education program is made possible by the Oklahoma Securities Commission and produced by the University of Oklahoma OUTREACH ~ College of Continuing Education.