Jun 11, 2017

NGPF Podcast: Tim Talks to Teacher-Innovator Jesse Peterkin of Ridgefield High School (CT)

It was great to have NGPF Teacher Innovator Award winner Jesse Peterkin on the podcast recently. Jesse teaches at Ridgefield High School (Ridgefield, Connecticut). His project Create a Budget and Financial Plan uses celebrities and avatars as hooks to engage students to develop comprehensive financial plans for their “clients.” Hear Jesse share the trials and tribulations of his first job, learn how his career in the private sector informs his teaching and hear his ideas on how he brings the subject of personal finance alive for his students. Enjoy!


  • 0:00~0:56 – Introduction
  • 0:56~3:26 – Jesse’s background
  • 3:26~5:25 – How his background informs what he teaches
  • 5:25~6:04 – Current classes that he is teaching
  • 6:04~9:10 – Some details about Ridgefield, Connecticut
  • 9:10~20:38 – Details on the project that was a winner of NGPF Teacher Innovator Award
  • 20:38~23:32 – How to explore the issue of risk tolerance
  • 23:32~25:00 – First job and investing
  • 25:00~27:18 – How he developed his curriculum
  • 27:18~28:55 – How he brings these topics to life for his students
  • 28:55~29:13 – A word from our sponsor, Next Gen Personal Finance
  • 29:13~32:46 –  Student’s money concerns
  • 32:46~33:50 – Best thing purchased under $10
  • 33:50~34:50 – Favorite websites
  • 34:50~35:58 – How he found NGPF
  • 35:58~38:12 – First job
  • 38:12~39:55 – Favorite book
  • 39:55~41:14 – Weekly text
  • 41:14~42:25 – Conclusion
Notable Quote:
  • “We talk a lot about money and building wealth but one thing I bring up to my students is the question, are you doing something you love? Because if you are, the money will follow.”


About the Author

Tim Ranzetta

Tim's saving habits started at seven when a neighbor with a broken hip gave him a dog walking job. Her recovery, which took almost a year, resulted in Tim getting to know the bank tellers quite well (and accumulating a savings account balance of over $300!). His recent entrepreneurial adventures have included driving a shredding truck, analyzing executive compensation packages for Fortune 500 companies and helping families make better college financing decisions. After volunteering in 2010 to create and teach a personal finance program at Eastside College Prep in East Palo Alto, Tim saw firsthand the impact of an engaging and activity-based curriculum, which inspired him to start a new non-profit, Next Gen Personal Finance.

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