Whitewater AP talks stock market at Cleveland Elem.


Cleveland Elementary enrichment students got some help from a special guest as they set out to make big gains in the stock market challenge. Whitewater High Assistant Principal JP Ward shared his passion for investing with the young Crocodiles to give them a leg up in the game.

Each year, Cleveland enrichment students participate in the stock market challenge where they “invest” $100,000, and the student or team who grows their account the most wins. When Whitewater High Assistant Principal Christina Rufenacht’s daughter, a student in Erin Dalton’s 5th grade Enrichment class, was kicking off the competition, she reached out to her colleague Ward, who she knew invested in stocks as a hobby. Dalton got word and asked Ward if he would come to her class and help them win.

“I jumped at the chance to talk stocks with them,” said Ward.

The students were already deep in researching stocks and were preparing to pick which to buy. “My goal was to teach them about using technical analysis to buy stocks instead of just buying a certain stock because they like the company, like Disney,” said Ward.

He showed the class four familiar company logos (Netflix, Disney, Home Depot, and McDonald’s) and asked which they would like to invest in. Their initial answers were based purely on their like or dislike of the company. Ward taught them about stock charts and what a candlestick pattern is and how they can look at the graph, volume, and moving averages of the stock price to try and predict the future stock price.

“I showed them the stock charts of Netflix, Disney, Home Depot, and McDonald’s, and then I asked them, based on the stock chart, which company they would like to invest in,” he said. “I was amazed at how their answers changed. They began doing technical analysis of the graph, and their answers were very insightful.”

While Ward is used to working with high school students every day, he was impressed by the elementary students. “There was not really any huge differences between teaching elementary students versus high school students. Good teaching that is engaging works for all ages!” said Ward.

He was touched to see the look of wonder on their faces as they learned something brand new. “I was very impressed with this group of students, and I know one of them is going to win the stock market challenge.”