As we close out Teacher Appreciation Week – though surely not our appreciation of teachers! – I wanted to bolster my message of gratitude by recognizing just a few of the remarkable educators we have the opportunity to work with here at EVERFI

Gwen Blake of West Side High School (Newark, NJ) has a passion for teaching academics and ensuring that her students are prepared to thrive in the world beyond high school. Using EverFi as a launch pad for delivering life lessons, Gwen surrounds her students with visual representations of the responsible financial decisions they’re learning to make – including their EverFi certificates – and extends financial literacy into various elements of the curriculum. And Gwen evangelizes, having turned her colleagues on to EverFi and to the importance of teaching critical life skills. Gwen has planned certification ceremonies that drive home the importance of the lessons her students learn, provides additional incentives to hard work, completion and progress, and consistently goes above and beyond for her students.

Dana Dingell of Madison High School (Fairfax, VA) inspires her students in the classroom in through such real-world and career-oriented organizations as FBLA and DECA. Dana blends her commitment to teaching financial literacy with her desire to see her students learn life lessons by organizing both classroom and club activities, and by encouraging her students to participate in national conferences, traveling around the country in an ongoing effort to prepare her students for life beyond high school.

Rod Hames of Alton C. Crews Middle School (Gwinnett County, GA) has a passion for financial education and is constantly finding ways to engage his students to help them appropriate this vital life skill. After building foundational knowledge through EverFi, Rod builds his students’ skills and expertise by inviting corporate and political figures from around the state and finding creative ways to provide additional resources to his students, thus providing them with a rich, robust learning experience.

Kristina Ackerman of Hernando High School (Mississippi) has taken ownership of EverFi not only at her school, but throughout her state. She has spoken at conferences, networked with fellow teachers and taken leadership roles in organizations like FBLA, thus bringing EverFi’s free programs to dozens of other teachers around Mississippi.

Jacqueline Nixon of Ramsay High School (Birmingham, AL) shares her excitement for teaching with everyone. She is remarkably responsive, replying promptly to every phone call and email, and is eager to share news of her students’ success in EverFi’s financial literacy platform. Jacqueline also spreads the word about EverFi to her colleagues in Birmingham and beyond, and has supported over 300 students on their way to EverFi certification.

Luis Nobriga of Lantrip Elementary (Houston) (sponsored by BBVA Compass) is not only a passionate 5th grade teacher but is also deeply committed to bringing financial education in a variety of ways to his urban school. Luis has spearheaded a college visit for all 65 of his 5th graders to Texas A & M University and designed lessons on paying for college and selecting a college major. Luis also fosters engagement with parents, encouraging them to discuss with their children the topics they cover in Vault and to create household budgets and family savings plans.