NGPF Fellow Updates
Our 2018-19 NGPF Fellows
Adam Cole, Needham High School (Newton, MA)
Adam Cole is a dedicated educator who is passionate about preparing his students for life after high school. After 8 years of teaching solely math, he added both personal finance and computer science to his schedule. By connecting with local businesses and experts to make the material more engaging and meaningful, enrollment has doubled over the last 5 years. In addition to teaching, he coaches both the Boys Swimming Team and the Golf Team and loves to travel and spend time with his wife and two sons.
Adrienne Deakins, William Penn High School (New Castle, DE)
Adrienne is in her seventh year of teaching economics and personal finance at William Penn High School in New Castle, Delaware. She loves teaching personal finance because it is more relevant and important than ever. She loves when she hears about former students making good financial decisions!
Alan Gersten, Century High School (Santa Ana, CA)
Alan has been teaching for 27 years and is the director of a business academy at an inner-city high school in Southern California. He is very involved with Virtual Enterprise which is a competitive business simulation where students create their own businesses from scratch. Alan loves to collaborate and share ideas and is always looking to improve and evolve what he does in the classroom.
Amanda Medina, Sharyland High School (Mission, TX)
Amanda Medina is a 5-year Family Consumer Science teacher deep in the heart of Texas. Her passion for financial literacy stems from her own lack of understanding as a young college student and the mistakes newly launched adolescents often make. She was a 2016 Visa Practical Money Skills’ Innovative Educator and continues to promote personal finance skills at a Title One high school. Amanda will graduate with a Master’s in Family Studies in May and hopes to research the emotional side of purchasing.
Aric Weiker, Interlake High School (Bellevue, WA)
Aric Weiker teaches Personal Finance, Business Management, Accounting and Retail Management at Interlake High School, an International Baccalaureate public school, in Bellevue, WA. He is the co-advisor of the school’s DECA program and student store and lives nearby on Mercer Island with his wife, two teenage children and a fat cat. Mr. Weiker got hooked on teaching four years ago after volunteering for Junior Achievement when he was still working in Business Development for Microsoft in Redmond, WA.
Brenda Martin-Lee, Seneca High School (Tabernacle, NJ)
After several years of working in the business world, Brenda pursued her passion to be an educator. She completed her graduate degree in Business Administration as well as a certification in Educational Leadership and proudly became a Business Educator. It was immediately after, that she developed a passion for teaching personal finance and is currently the only teacher who teaches that course at Seneca.
James Redelsheimer, Robbinsdale Armstrong High School (Plymouth, MN)
James Redelsheimer has been an AP and Regular Economics teacher at Armstrong High School in Plymouth, Minnesota since 2003. In 2016 he received the Thrivent Personal Finance Leadership Award and in 2011 the 3M Economics Educator Excellence Award from the Minnesota Council on Economic Education. He is a Co-Author of Barron’s AP Economics and has received travel grants and fellowships for study travel to learn about the economies of Japan, China, Turkey, Germany, Korea, among others, and studied Environmental Economics in Costa Rica.
Joel Chrisler, Sauk Prairie High School (Prairie du Sac, WI)
28 years ago after accepting his first and only teaching position, Joel was asked to create a class emphasizing economics and financial literacy. This is where he realized his passion. He could share stories of financial success, stories of financial hardship but most importantly the stories of how young people must prepare themselves for their own future. His course, Consumer Economics, is designed to benefit students immediately and his desire to improve it is what keeps him inspired.Besides teaching and coaching, he loves to spend time with his wife and 6 children.
Joy Tavano, North Kingstown High School (North Kingstown, RI)
Joy Tavano has been teaching business education for almost 18 years. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting and a Master of Arts in Teaching. Presently, she teaches Accounting and Consumer Math at North Kingstown High School in Rhode Island, in addition to running the school’s Internship program. She also writes and edits business education textbooks. Joy serves as Secretary of the RI Jump$tart Coalition where she is happy to help advocate for financial literacy education.
Kathleen Brennan, Mount Saint Mary Academy (Watchung, NJ)
Kathleen Brennan has an MA in Economics and has spent the last nineteen years as a teacher at Mount Saint Mary Academy, a small Catholic girls’ high school in Watchung, NJ. She has taught all areas of math from Algebra I through AP Statistics and currently teaches AP Economics and Financial Math. She serves on the board of the NJ Council of Economic Education and has facilitated workshops in both economics and financial literacy in the New York metropolitan area.
Kelly-Anne Rush, Windham High School (Windham, ME)
During her 14 years as a social studies teacher, Kelly-Anne Rush developed and introduced curriculum for a new semester personal finance course, a graduation requirement for all seniors, which she’s been teaching for the past five years. Through her blog and social media platforms, Kelly-Anne shares and promotes financial literacy resources with teachers across the country. In addition to teaching, she’s passionate about renovating, decorating, traveling, thrifting, and finding the world’s best donut!
Mihir Garud, Instituto Health Sciences Career Academy (Chicago, IL)
Mihir Garud teaches Consumer Education at Instituto Health Sciences Career Academy in Chicago. Financial literacy is a subject that he has a deep passion for and strongly believes that educational equity can be reached by educating students and families about practical money management skills and available options to pay for post-secondary education. Mihir is active in the community as an elected Trustee for the Chicago Teachers Union and sits on the emerging leaders board at the Center for Law and Social Work.