South takes first in LifeSmarts state competition


Logo of the LifeSmarts company.


LifeSmarts is a free educational opportunity that develops the consumer and marketplace knowledge and skills of students in grades 6-12. The content and competition questions focus on five areas, such as; Personal Finance, Health and Safety Environment Technology and Telecommunications, and Consumer Rights and Responsibilities.

“Our most recent competition was state and we got first place,” Jordan Tran, 10, said.

South’s LifeSmarts team is coached by Jean Conkling, an expanded learning teacher at South. The team is composed of Tim Dobson and Cale Thimmesch, both 12, Sam Harder, 11, Jordan Tran and Ashley Pritchard, both 10.

“I’ve been taking middle school and high school teams to LifeSmarts competitions for about 12 years after hearing about it from a co-worker,” Jean Conkling, Expanded Learning, said.“I heard about it when I was working with students in school districts in Reno County.”

By completing the seven, 20-question online LifeSmarts quizzes in December and by taking a timed 100-question, hour-long online competition quiz in January, this year’s LifeSmarts team qualified to attend the in-person Kansas LifeSmarts State competition Mar. 5 at Wichita State University (WSU).  

“To prepare you just study the various topics anytime before the competition,” said Tran. “There is a website called and you take the online test, it’s just a normal multiple choice and it will give you your score after.”

Placing first out of nine teams from across Kansas at the State competition, South will now compete at the Nationals LifeSmarts competition in San Diego, CA, on Apr. 21 through 24.


Logo of the LifeSmarts company. Logo of the LifeSmarts company.