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A team of students from Steinert High School took the top honor at Mercer County’s 2016 New Jersey High School Consumer Bowl, beating out six other area schools in a quiz-show style competition on good consumer practices.

The winning Steinert team consisted of Chandler Georgiou, captain; Mitchell Fenton, Monica Hanani, Andrew Tse and Sandra Baskharon. The team’s adviser is teacher Susan Buckley. Steinert will go on to compete at the Central Jersey Regional Consumer Bowl in Monmouth County on April 20.

Mercer County’s annual Consumer Bowl competition is held by the Mercer County Division of Consumer Affairs, in conjunction with the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs, and pits teams from various local high schools against one another to test their knowledge on being a smart shopper. This year’s competition was held on March 11 at the Stone Terrace in Hamilton.

At the start of the competition, Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes welcomed the competitors and reminded all the students about the importance of being smart consumers.

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“Being an informed consumer helps you understand your rights and become an active participant in the buying process,” County Executive Hughes said. “Information is your best defense against consumer fraud, from identity theft to lemon laws, telemarketing scams and more.”

Other schools that participated were: Ewing High School (finalist), Hamilton High School West, Hightstown High School, Nottingham High School, Trenton Central High School and West Windsor-Plainsboro High School North.

“I congratulate Steinert High School on their success, and offer a round of applause to all the students for their desire to become more aware of the world around them,” added Hughes.

Anthony Brennan, New Jersey Consumer Affairs investigator and Union County TV personality, served as moderator for the Mercer County competition and Mercer County Consumer Affairs Chief Donna Giovannetti served as referee. Judges were Assistant Prosecutor Rachel Cook, County Clerk Paula Sollami Covello, retired Investigator Joanne Frank, County Surrogate Diane Gerofsky, Assistant County Counsel John Maloney and Mercer County Sheriff’s Office Detective Jason Salvatore. Retired Detective Michele Russell served as scorekeeper and Mercer County Weights and Measures Superintendent John Worth served as timekeeper.

The Consumer Bowl was created by the Mercer County Division of Consumer Affairs in 1994 as a way to encourage students to become smarter consumers, to be wary of scams and unfair business practices, and to be knowledgeable when obtaining services like home improvements or buying products such as vehicles or appliances. The Division of Consumer Affairs can be reached at (609) 989-6671.

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Mary Galioto
Mary Galioto is the founder, publisher and editor of MercerMe, and a lawyer. Originally from Brooklyn, Mary has progressively moved deeper and deeper into New Jersey, settling in the heart of the state: Mercer County. Formerly the author of an embarrassingly informal blog, Mary is a lifelong writer and asker of questions and was even mentioned, albeit briefly, in the New York Times and Washington Post. In her free time, Mary fills her life with excessive self-reflection, photographing mushrooms, and misguided adventures in random hobbies. Mary also works as the PR Coordinator at the Hopewell Valley Arts Council, serves on the volunteer Board of Trustees of the Lawrence Hopewell Trail (LHT), serves on the Hopewell Borough Board of Health, is a member of the Hopewell Valley Municipal Alliance, and holds the elected position as the Hopewell Borough Democratic Committee Municipal Chairwoman.

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