NGPF Fellow Updates

Tech Tool Review: Red Laser App

May 16, 2018
NGPF Fellows, Budgeting, Tips for Teachers
Teachers who attend our Summer Institute in Palo Alto become NGPF Fellows the following school year -- this Fellowship includes presenting with us at PD sessions, offering NGPF feedback on products, writing guest blog posts, ... the list goes on. Today features a Tech Tool Review from Martha Somers of Broad Run High School in Ashburn, VA. Here's what Martha has to say... Tech Tool: Red Laser app  Cost: Free Use Case:  Download app for Android or iPhone through Google Play or the Apple...

Credit for Life Fair by NGPF Fellow, Julie Giglia

Oct 18, 2017
NGPF Fellows, Activity, Advocacy, Financial Literacy, Teaching Strategies
Thanks to Julie Giglia, an NGPF Fellow and Business/Technology teacher at Whitman-Hanson Regional High School for this blog post. Julie strives to use technology in the classroom to enhance learning and make education innovative and fun for her students. Connect with her on Twitter @julegig or at -------- In six months, April 2018, it will be National Financial Literacy month and one thing schools can do is host a Credit for Life Fair. The...

Don't Forget The Parents!

Oct 10, 2017
NGPF Fellows, Teaching Strategies, Lesson Idea, Featured Teachers, Behavioral Finance, Advocacy, Activities
A blog post from NGPF Fellow, Kerri Herrild: -------- There are many reasons why I would not enjoy teaching elementary students. One is that I like it when students can blow their own noses, tie their own shoes and zip their own coats.  Another reason is that I don’t have to worry about sending home cutesy newsletters and calendars peppered with ClipArt to parents.  By the time students reach the high school, let’s be honest, we don’t communicate with parents very...

Developing Future Mindedness in Students

Oct 06, 2017
Employment, NGPF Fellows, Behavioral Finance, Featured Teachers, Tips for Teachers, Teaching Strategies
Credit to NGPF Fellow, Barbara O'Neill for the following post: According to research by Sarah Newcomb, a behavioral economist at Morningstar, people who focus on the future and feel that they create their own financial destiny tend to save more than others for retirement and other financial goals. When people focus on the future, they tend to be less impulsive (e.g., spending habits), regardless of their level of financial literacy. In other words, time orientation is a key factor in financial...

Creativity and Collaboration in Financial Literacy Courses

Oct 04, 2017
NGPF Fellows, Lesson Idea, Advertising, Featured Teachers, Taxes, Teaching Strategies
Guest post from NGPF Fellow, Kayla Bousum of Johnston High School, Iowa: While grading tests covering paystubs and earnings, I noticed that a large proportion of students were still very confused about the differences between a Form W-2 and a Form W-4. I realized then that everything we were doing—a thorough explanation of the forms, showing them the two forms, and filling out a practice W- 4—was not enough to cement in their minds the differences between these two forms....

How to Teach Personal Finance with an Index Card. A Guest Post by Barbara O'Neill.

Aug 28, 2017
NGPF Fellows, Behavioral Finance, Featured Teachers, Financial Literacy, Teaching Strategies
Barbara O’Neill is an NGPF Fellow and a Distinguished Professor at Rutgers Cooperative Extension in New Jersey. In addition to teaching, Barbara also organizes and facilitates professional development for high school personal finance educators in New Jersey. In August 2017, Barbara facilitated two Financial Education Boot Camps and had educators work through the following Index Card Activity. ------------- Back in March, I wrote a NGPF blog post about my three-month curation of financial...

Teacher Feedback on our Credit Units -- Thanks, Maureen!

Jun 01, 2017
Credit Cards, Credit Scores, Video Resource, Credit Reports, Featured NGPF Lesson, NGPF Fellows
NGPF Fellow Maureen Neuner is consistently in touch with us here at NGPF, which we love love love! Her most recent feedback seemed worth sharing, as it might entice some of you to check out our credit units for use next year. Here’s Maureen’s email [with comments from Jessica in brackets]… Happy Friday! I just wanted to give you some feedback on the credit unit I just completed. Every year I feel like I redo my lessons for credit because there is so much information out there...

Amanda and Laurie's Classrooms of the Future

May 24, 2017
Schools In News, Featured Teachers, NGPF Fellows
In March, we blogged about a news article profiling NGPF Fellow Amanda Volz’s upcoming “Classroom of the Future” remodel at St. Clair High School in Michigan. If you’re a Facebook user, you can see beautiful pictures of her classroom (and her students in action)! And, now that we’ve announced our Summer Institute participants for 2017, we’re pleased to share classroom pictures from Laurie Gardner’s newly redone Classroom of the Future at Marine City High...

Careers of the Future! A Guest Post from Andrea Stemper

May 21, 2017
Career, Lesson Idea, Employment, Featured Teachers, NGPF Fellows
Andrea Stemper’s one of our NGPF Fellows who integrates personal finance into her economics classes (but not for long — she’s also advocating at her district to make personal finance its own elective course, which we’d LOVE to see happen). Adept at integrating financial capability into econ, Andrea’s written in with this suggestion for a lesson on job prospects and supply & demand: When we think about our jobs, it is important to consider what might be in...

What does that cute, cuddly, adorable pet actually cost you?

Apr 04, 2017
Activity, Budgeting, Lesson Idea, Featured Teachers, NGPF Fellows
Today, we’ve got a special treat — a guest blog post AND a teacher-generated resource — straight from NGPF Fellow Sue Suttich of Tigard High School (OR). Read on for a great activity on calculating the true cost of pet ownership! ______________________________ Each year in my Wealth Management class I have the students make a vision board. We talk about goals and what they want in life. Then they each write some short, medium and long-term goals and turn those goals into a...

NGPF Podcast: Tim Talks To NGPF Fellow Amy McCabe of Culpeper High School (Virginia)

Apr 03, 2017
Podcasts, Investing, Teaching Strategies, Insurance, Tips for Teachers, NGPF Fellows
Thanks to Amy McCabe for taking the time to participate in this recent NGPF Podcast. I got to know Amy during our inaugural Summer Institute in 2016 and was struck by her passion for teaching and for ensuring her students get the skills they need to succeed in their financial lives. In this podcast, you will learn from Amy what it’s like to teach in a state with a personal finance mandate. She discusses her approach to teaching challenging topics, such as investing and insurance...

NGPF Podcast: Tim Talks to Passionate and Creative Educator, Andrea Stemper of Palmer High School (CO)

Mar 27, 2017
Podcasts, Current Events, NGPF Fellows, Advocacy
Thanks to Andrea Stemper of Palmer High School in Colorado Springs for the great conversation that we had recently. I got to know Andrea last summer at the inaugural NGPF Summer Institute. I was impressed by her passion and creativity as she shared lots of great activity ideas that she developed for her students. In fact, we turned one of those ideas into an activity “Let’s Make A Mutual Fund” for our new Teach Investing in Two Hours lesson (see Resource #7 for the activity)....

Amanda Volz & Her (Soon-to-be) Classroom of the Future

Mar 27, 2017
Featured Teachers, Schools In News, NGPF Fellows
NGPF Fellow Amanda Volz has made her local newspaper yet again, this time for the “Classroom of the Future” she’s designed and will have in place in less than two weeks at St. Clair High School in St. Clair, MI. Though Amanda is certainly an innovative educator across the board, this particular grant she received allowed her to design a new classroom layout, complete with flexible furniture and a “mini business setting.” The new classroom setup will perfectly...

Implementing "COMPARE: Making Credit Decisions" Amanda Volz-style

Feb 20, 2017
Activity, Credit Cards, Lesson Idea, NGPF Fellows
NGPF Fellow Amanda Volz took a fairly basic activity from our bank — COMPARE: Making Credit Decisions — and made it her own. Now, she’s sharing the strategy, guaranteed to liven up your classroom, with you. As an added bonus, the activity she’s referring to is now available in Spanish, too, so some of your English Language Learners can participate fully in this discussion-based fun. Read on for Amanda’s guest blog post… __________________________ As a...

Teacher Submitted Question: What does being an "NGPF Fellow" entail?

Feb 06, 2017
NGPF Fellows, Summer Institute
Great question! If you’ve done any reading on our website, you may have noticed that last summer’s Inaugural Summer Institute participants became this academic year’s NGPF Fellows. Jill L from Wyoming wrote in to ask what exactly being an “NGPF Fellow” entails. The answer I gave Jill … Everyone who attends Summer Institute automatically becomes an NGPF Fellow for the following school year as part of the Summer Institute commitment. In 2016-17, the program...

Our 2017-18 NGPF Fellows

Barbara O’Neill of Rutgers University (New Brunswick, NJ)

Barbara is a Distinguished Professor at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ and Rutgers Cooperative Extension’s Specialist in Financial Resource Management. She provides national leadership for the ExtensionInvesting For Your Future and Small Steps to Health and Wealth™ programs and has written over 160 articles for academic publication and received over 35 national awards and over $1 million in grants to support financial education programs and research.

Brent Gostomski of Stevens Point Area Senior High School (Stevens Point, WI)

After five years of working in the business world, Brent transitioned to teaching at the high school level.  He developed his passion for personal finance from his high school Personal Finance teacher. Brent teaches in face-to-face, online and blended learning formats. In addition to teaching, he coaches multiple sports and enjoys spending time with his wife Alli and son Porter.

Brett Burkey of Dreyfoos School of Fine Arts (Palm Beach, FL)

Brett lives with his wife and dog in Boca Raton, FL. He has been a high school teacher in Palm Beach County for 33 years; 32 at Spanish River H.S. and currently at the Dreyfoos School of the Arts. For 11 years, he has served as the Assistant Director of the Florida Atlantic University Center for Economic Education.

Brian Johnson of Forest Hills Northern High School (Grand Rapids, MI)

Brian has been teaching business and computer classes for 17 years.  Prior to his career as an educator, he worked for seven years in retail and automotive materials management.  In addition to teaching, Brian serves the students as the DECA advisor and junior varsity water polo coach.

Courtney Poquette of Winooski High School (Winooski, VT)

Courtney is an advocate for Financial Literacy in the State of Vermont. She developed and introduced the first Personal Finance class at Winooski High School ten years ago and has continued to attend conferences and workshops across the country to fine-tune her curriculum. Courtney was recently recognized as the Vermont Jump$tart Coalition’s 2017 Financial Literacy Champion for the state.  

Diane Mondoro of Bridgewater-Raritan High School (Bridgewater, NJ)

Diane worked in the pharmaceutical industry before pursuing an MBA in Marketing at Rutgers University. She left the industry to work as an adjunct professor at Fairleigh Dickinson University, where she discovered her true passion for teaching. Diane taught high school biology for 3 years before switching to business and accounting. She loves teaching personal finance because it is so relevant to her students.

Erin Johnson of F Plus Creativity (Memphis, TN)

After teaching Personal Finance in the classroom for 8 years, Erin joined F Plus Creativity. In her role, she designs case studies that contribute to educational research. Her current project measures the impact of financial aid on college completion rates. She believes that giving students more choice in how they learn and what they learn can increase academic outcomes. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, reading, and home design.

Jeffrey Snyder of Wayne Valley High School (Wayne, NJ)

Jeff has been teaching personal finance, financial literacy, and accounting for the last 9 years. He is passionate about empowering his students to believe in their abilities to be successful in their future endeavors. He enjoys spending his free time with his wife and daughter, playing golf, and going to the beach. Jeff finds inspiration through Anthony Robbins and Brendon Burchard. 

Jill Wilson of Glenwood Springs High School (Glenwood Springs, CO)

Jill believes that every high school student should enter adult life with a solid understanding of personal finance. She has spent her 25-year teaching career at Glenwood Springs High School where the majority of the 950 students take her semester-long Financial Literacy course.  Jill enjoys the beautiful Colorado mountains, triathlon, snowboarding, and being a soccer mom.

Jodie Holmquist of Hinsdale Middle High School (Hinsdale, NH)

Jodie is the business teacher at Hinsdale Middle High School in Hinsdale, NH, where she applies her many years of experience in treasury management, tax accounting, and general accounting. She teaches classes in personal finance, accounting, and economics as well as other business electives and advises the newly formed FBLA chapter and the National Honor Society.

Jody Sandru of Twin Bridges High School (Twin Bridges, MT)

Starting with a corporate banking career, Jody relocated to Twin Bridges, Montana and switched careers to her current role as a business/technology teacher in a rural public school. After 25 years of teaching, the standards, pedagogies, and technological advances have changed drastically, but one item remains constant—Jody’s passion for teaching her students financial literacy skills. Jody believes that taking a financial literacy class is one of the smartest decisions a student can make. When not in the classroom, Jody is busy on her family’s fourth-generation cattle ranch. She enjoys bouncing down dirt roads in her old pickup truck full of cow dogs and fishing poles under Montana’s Big Sky.

Joey Running of West Albany High School (Albany, OR)

Joey has been an educator for 25 years teaching at both the high school and community college levels. She is currently developing an advanced finance course called Wealth Building and Management to be offered for the first time Spring 2018 which was a result of student demand and interest to learn more about investing for their futures.  An introductory personal finance class was not enough for her students. They wanted more!

Julie Giglia of Whitman-Hanson Regional High School (Whitman, MA)

Julie has been a Business/Technology teacher at Whitman-Hanson Regional High School for 13 years. In April, she was awarded the 2016 Massachusetts Business Teacher of the Year. In February of 2015, Julie was named Visa Practical Money Skills Innovative Educator for the Month of February.  Julie has written and won two grants to support 3D printer technology for her high school.

Kathleen McNamara of Newark Leadership Academy (Newark, NJ)

After a 30-year Wall Street career, Kathleen is living her dream as an educator! Kathleen worked for three years at Newark Leadership Academy, an alternative school within the Newark Public School District. Her school reengages 16-20-year-olds who are two or more years behind in their coursework. Aware of the educational inequities that exist in New Jersey, Kathleen chose to join Teach for America as she felt they would help her find a district where she could make a difference.

Kayla Bousum of Johnston High School (Johnston, IA)

Kayla has been teaching business and computers in Iowa for 16 years.  The last 11 years have included teaching financial literacy at Johnston High School in Johnston, IA. Over her teaching career, Kayla has taught a variety of business topics, but none have sparked her passion quite like teaching financial literacy. Kayla believes financial literacy should be a required course to graduate, and starting in the fall of 2017, her school district has made that a reality. 

Kerri Herrild of De Pere High School (De Pere, WI)

Kerri is in her 15th year of teaching and has been at De Pere High School, in Wisconsin, for the past 13 years.  She majored in Secondary Business Education at Northern Michigan University and minored in Biology Education.  She also has her Master’s Degree in Educational Technology.  Kerri loves to share her energy and passion for Personal Finance and other business or biology related topics with her students.

Laurie Gardner of Marine City High School (Marine City, MI)

Laurie teaches Business Education and Financial Management.  This is her ninth year of teaching and she considers this school her home because she’s an MCHS graduate. Each year gets better because Laurie enjoys collaborating with colleagues, bringing fresh new ideas into the classroom that keep students engaged, and applying curriculum and lessons to the real world.

Martha Somers of Broad Run High School (Ashburn, VA)

Martha is a 16-year business teacher with Loudoun County Public Schools.  When Personal Finance and Economics were introduced in her school district three years ago as a graduation requirement, Martha jumped at the chance. She wanted to teach a subject that had a great deal of engaging content that would empower high school students to learn what her generation did not–effective money management.

Pat Page of East Greenwich High School (East Greenwich, RI)

Pat, a Business and Computer Technology Educator, holds graduate degrees in Business Administration and Education, and is pursuing a PhD in Educational Technology. As Rhode Island’s 2014 Teacher of the Year and Vice President of RI Jump$tart, Pat’s state and national efforts center on building collaborative partnerships between the classroom and workplace, and championing financial capability within today’s youth.

Patrick DeRosa of Osbourn Park High School (Manassas, VA)

While completing his student-teaching, Patrick was paired with a teacher who only taught Economics and Personal Finance and his love for the subject began there. He has now been teaching Econ and Finance and World History at Osbourn Park High School for the past three years. Patrick fell in love with teaching Personal Finance because he believes, regardless of age, all individuals need to gain an understanding of their finances.

Ruth Sisman of Albemarle High School (Charlottesville, VA)

After completing an MBA, Ruth worked in management for a few years.  Then, Ruth moved to Turkey where she taught Business English to students at Istanbul University. Moving back to the US, she entered secondary education and was able to use her business background teaching Management and Marketing. When Economics and Personal Finance became a graduation requirement, Ruth jumped at the chance to teach this critical subject.

Steve Penley of Waubonsie Valley High School (Aurora, IL)

Steve has fourteen years of management experience in the private sector, along with twenty three+ years of experience teaching personal finance.  Previously, Steve taught the capstone methods class for aspiring business teachers at Benedictine University. Steve currently teaches at Waubonsie Valley High School, where he enjoys using experiential learning to create an engaged learning environment.

Talitha Oliveri of Hopedale Junior/Senior High School (Hopedale, MA)

Talitha has been teaching in a small New England town for 19 years.  To extend the reach of her passion for financial literacy to a larger audience, three years ago she made the switch from teaching math to teaching Financial Literacy and Career & College Planning.  In recognition of her efforts, Talitha was named Visa Practical Money Skills Innovative Educator of the Month for March 2017. 

Vicky Livesay of D-B EXCEL (Kingsport, TN)

Vicky is proud to be a staff member at D-B EXCEL in Kingsport, TN. D-B EXCEL is an innovative school that is designed to meet the needs of 21st-century learners in grades 9-12 using a blended learning approach.  This personalized approach to learning has been a great fit for her personal finance students as they can improve their financial literacy skills based on their baseline level of understanding.