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Financial Literacy Month is observed during the month of April each year.

MAX is proud to recognize the important role that teachers play in the financial education development of our local youth. In April 2018, we hosted the first Ascend Award – Financial Literacy Teacher Contest and recognized three outstanding teachers who bring passion, dedication, and enthusiasm for financial education into their classrooms. Nominations were collected from all over MAX’s chartered area and public voting took place at the end of April.

2018 Winners

FIRST PLACE |$500 AWARD | Jessica Lucas – Prattville Junior High School

2018 1st Place Winner  

First place winner, Jessica Lucas, was awarded a $500 VISA card. Ms. Lucas teaches 8th grade English at Prattville Junior High School and has been teaching for a total of five years. Ms. Lucas creatively incorporates the topic of financial education in her English classes by using the novel The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas. Through this novel, Ms. Lucas is able to discuss the concepts of inflation, foreign currency exchange, irresponsible investing, and the dangers of frivolous spending. According to her nominator, the students who read this novel, leave Ms. Lucas’ classroom “with and understanding of financial responsibility beyond what one would expect and eighth grade to have.” We applaud Ms. Lucas for her innovative methods in teaching.

SECOND PLACE | $250 AWARD | Crystal Joiner – Montgomery Preparatory Academy for Career Technologies

2018 2nd Place Winner 

Second place winner, Crystal Joiner teaches Health Sciences to grades 10-12 at the Montgomery Preparatory Academy for Career Technologies (MPACT) and has been teaching for total of two years. Ms. Joiner’s classroom runs like a simulated workplace with students taking on various medical related job duties such as nurses, safety inspectors, and supervisors.  The students receive a “paycheck” for their attendance and performance and learn about taxes, medical insurance, and retirement savings accounts. Through this real world simulation, Ms. Joiner, helps her students develop their financial capability prior to beginning their professional careers. Her nominator, an educator and parent of one of Ms. Joiner’s students, describes her as, “a diamond in the rough.  She is one of few teachers who goes above and beyond in making her lessons relate to real life experiences for her students.” We are excited to see how this experiential program will continue to grow.

THIRD PLACE | $100 AWARD | Henry Tellis – Sidney Lanier High School

 2018 3rd Place Winner 

Third place winner, Henry Tellis, teaches 12th grade Economics at Sidney Lanier High School and has been teaching for more than six years. Mr. Tellis successfully engages his students in the topic of economics, by applying the subject to their everyday lives. In his classroom, students learn about family budgeting, establishing a small business or non-profit organization, and investments. Mr. Tellis even brings parents into the financial discussion through his family budgeting activity. Mr. Tellis works to inspire his students with the skills to pursue a debt free life, serve the communities in which they live, and to embody an entrepreneurial spirit. We tip our hats to Mr. Tellis for the great work he is doing at Lanier High School and in the local community.