Sep 01, 2022
Professional Development

Teacher Talk with Kimberly Barnhart of Sharon Academy (Vermont)

What's Kimberly's favorite personal finance activity? Her favorite personal finance book? Read more and discover answers to these questions and more.

Kimberly Barnhart of Sharon Academy (Vermont) recently became an NGPF Distinguished Educator after completing her sixth Certification Course. Kimberly's thought-provoking questions and engagement in these courses make her an integral member of the NGPF community. Read our Q&A with Kimberly to learn more about her and her passion for personal finance.

Tell us a little about yourself including why you are passionate about financial education. 
I teach Social Studies and French in a small high school of about 130 students in rural Vermont. Last year, I offered a Personal Finance class for one trimester. I intended it to be just one section, but so many kids signed up, I ended up teaching two sections. I was blown away by their enthusiasm and engagement and their demand for this course. I have extended the content to fill two trimesters and after just one year we are now filling five sections!

What is your favorite activity with your students? 
This is an easy question: "CREATE: A Salary-Based Budget"! Students create a realistic budget determined by a career they are considering and using real-world costs. They come away with an understanding of gross versus net pay, housing and transportation costs and trade-offs, discretionary spending, and the concept of "paying yourself first"--all while learning how to use a spreadsheet!  

What is your favorite personal finance book you have read in the last year?
Gen Z Money $ense, by Ella Gupta [Editor's note: Ella was featured in last month's newsletter and appeared on the NGPF Podcast.] This is a straight-forward, up-to-date book that addresses the issues my students need to know. It goes into detail, with charts and illustrations to explain the concepts, but each of the 18 chapters also has a short  "Z Notes" list that serve as a TL;DR summary with all the main points.

What is the best thing you ever purchased for under $10? 
This is a harder question! I think it has to be the first Rex Stout novel I got at a used book store for just a couple dollars. It introduced me to the world of Nero Wolfe, and his sidekick Archie Goodwin, who have been companions and a mental retreat that has warmed up many a Vermont winter's evening.


Complete 6 NGPF Certification Courses and you can become one of the Distinguished Educators in your state

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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