Barrington finishes second at Lifesmart nationals


The Barrington High School LifeSmarts team came close to winning the LifeSmarts national championship in Atlanta, Ga. on Tuesday, April 23.

The Eagles — the team includes captain Jack Liang, Ryan Jerue, Cassidy Laidlaw, Matthew Lamontagne and Teddy Ni — knocked off Pennsylvania in the semifinals before losing to Florida’s Paxon School for Advanced Studies in the finals.

Barrington finished ahead of 36 other teams from across the country that competed at the nationals, which tested students’ real-world financial and consumer literacy issues.

The Eagles earned a trip to the LifeSmarts nationals in March, when the local students topped Burrillville in the state finals. Barrington has won the state finals for two years in a row, and in the nine-year history of the LifeSmarts program in Rhode Island, Barrington has won four times (’13, ’12, ’10, ’07).

The Eagles arrived in Atlanta last weekend, along with teenagers from 38 other teams. The competition started on Saturday and continued through Tuesday, when the field was whittled down to four teams: Barrington, Florida, Pennsylvania and Tennessee.

The 2013 National LifeSmarts Champion and other winning teams will walk away with prizes and scholarships. In addition to placing as a team, individual students have the opportunity to compete for scholarships for demonstrating knowledge in specific areas. The top eight placing teams and top five individuals are recognized.

Former Congressman George “Buddy” Darden helped the National Consumers League crown the 2013 national champion team.


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Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.