>>Link to 2018 Economic Educator Awards Press Release (PDF)

Richmond, VA — The Virginia Council on Economic Education (VCEE) and the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond recognized 16 educators who have demonstrated exceptional delivery of personal finance and economic education in their Virginia K-12 classrooms. The award ceremony was held today at the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.

“Established in 1988, this is the 30th anniversary of VCEE’s annual Virginia Economic Educator awards. By educating Virginia’s students in economics and personal finance, Virginia educators help prepare financially responsible adults and a more qualified workforce. Ultimately this commitment to financial and economic literacy helps young Virginians thrive and leads to a stronger, more vibrant economy,” said Dan Mortensen, executive director, Virginia Council on Economic Education.

Mark Jones, a teacher at Hickory High School in Chesapeake, was recognized as the 2018 Virginia Outstanding Economic Educator of the Year. After 10 years as a banking professional, in 2005 Mr. Jones switched careers and became a teacher with a passion for economics. Among his many accomplishments, he established and taught the first Advanced Placement (AP) Micro and Macroeconomics course in Chesapeake Public Schools and recently chartered the Economics Club at Hickory High School. He was nominated by the Old Dominion University Center for Economic Education.

VCEE’s statewide network of university-based Centers for Economic Education serve K-12 schools in their respective regions. The Outstanding Economic Educators recognized by this network are:

Dianna Alger,
Page County High School, Page County, James Madison University Center
Dina J. Baber, Discovery School of Virginia in Dillwyn, Virginia Commonwealth University Center
Robin Dotson, Central High School, Wise County, University of Virginia’s College at Wise Center
Malinda Hogan, Riverbend High School, Spotsylvania County, University of Mary Washington Center
Patrick D. Riley, Heritage High School, Lynchburg, University of Lynchburg Center
Patricia Winch, Fairfax County Public Schools, Middle School Social Studies Specialist, George Mason University Center
Chad Wright, Grayson County, Career & Technical Education Center, Virginia Tech Center

These four educators were recognized for their development of original K-12 economics curriculum:

Gary Greenwood, 1st Place, Fluvanna County High School, Fluvanna County
Turning Your Class into a Business
Bethany Everidge, 2nd Place, Harrisonburg High School, Harrisonburg
What are Common Words Anyways? Supporting Students through Tier-Two Vocabulary and Financial Literacy
Lisa Taylor, 3rd Place, Leesville Road Elementary School, Campbell County
Surviving the Heat: A Lesson in Life
Christine Pedersen, VCEE Institute Graduate Winner, New Kent High School, New Kent County, Home Sweet Mortgage

And, finally, the following received Mini-Grant Awards in recognition of ideas they implemented in the classroom with mini-grants VCEE provided for the 2017-18 school year:

Amanda S. Grimm, Alleghany High School, Alleghany County
Cost of Caring for an Infant
James Meadows, Gretna High School, Pittsylvania County
Factors of Production and Global Trade Projects
Tammy May, Co-winner, Lacey Spring Elementary School, Rockingham County
Tara Hardy, Co-winner, John C. Myers Elementary School, Rockingham County
Kid’s Market Project

In Virginia’s public schools, personal finance and economics are included in the Standards of Learning for every grade level, culminating in a nationally-recognized full-year course for high school students.

“We are grateful for the commitment of these outstanding educators.  Their innovative instructional approaches help bridge the classroom to the real world, inspiring students to create financially stable futures,” said Dr. Kartik Athreya, executive vice president and director of research, the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.

To view the classroom lessons developed by the award winners and to learn how to nominate an educator for the 2019 Economic Educator Awards, visit vcee.org.

Virginia Credit Union and Virginia Housing Development Authority provided financial support for the 2018 awards program.  The Virginia Lottery, which has contributed more than $9 billion to Virginia’s K-12 public schools since 1999, provided gift boxes for each awardee.

Established in 1970, the Virginia Council on Economic Education (VCEE), a 501(c)(3) non-profit entity, seeks to ensure that Virginia’s K-12 students obtain the economic knowledge and financial skills needed to thrive in our dynamic economy. VCEE and its network of nine university-based Centers for Economic Education provide professional development and classroom programs for K-12 educators. The Centers are located at Christopher Newport University; George Mason University; James Madison University; Old Dominion University; University of Lynchburg; University of Mary Washington; University of Virginia’s College at Wise; Virginia Commonwealth University; and, Virginia Tech. VCEE is affiliated with the national Council for Economic Education.

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