Sep 02, 2021

Mission 2030 Guest Post: Catherine Nason Attended a NGPF Conference and Came Back Ready to Change the Curriculum

The following post is one in a series of inspiring stories from NGPF's Gold Standard Challenge Grant Program which incentivizes high schools and districts to commit to ALL students taking personal finance courses before graduation. Learn more, and apply for your $2,500 to $30,000 Gold Standard Challenge Grant before the August 31, 2022 deadline here.

About Today's Guest Author

Catherine Nason is a business teacher at Ellicottville High School in Ellicottville, New York. Their school is the 53rd recipient of the Gold Standard Challenge grant. Here is Catherine describing Ellicottville’s journey to the Gold Standard!

Describe a rough timeline for how you and/or your colleagues were able to advocate for personal finance to become a graduation requirement in your school/district. How long did it take? What were the major progress milestones?

I attended an NGPF conference last fall and heard about the Gold Challenge. I was so excited about it, that I came back to my school and told my Superintendent we needed to do this. I changed my curriculum to use NGPF and made a presentation to the Board of Education, parents, community members, and students to show them how important Personal Finance instruction is in high school. They all were in complete agreement along with my administration. My principal amended our graduation policy and the Board approved it all within less than a year.

What challenges did you encounter in your efforts to make personal finance a graduation requirement, and what solutions did you find for these challenges?

I really didn't have any challenges. The only challenge we will have is making sure all the students can fit Personal Finance into their schedule during their junior or senior year since I am the only business teacher in the District. My administration and guidance have said this is a challenge that we will all work to make happen.

What/who were the "catalysts for change" that allowed your efforts to be successful?

I guess it would be my commitment to make sure all students are able to take the courses they want from me no matter what (teaching after school, online, etc). Along with a Board of Education and Administration that strive to have the best for the students of Ellicottville.

Which stakeholders (students, parents, admin, business leaders, school board, etc) were helpful partners in your quest to make the graduation requirement happen?

They all were. Our school has a wonderful Board of Education and administrative team that is supported by parents and the community.

About the Author

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