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Name: Suzanne Hirsch

School: Hudson High School, Hudson, Ohio

Grade levels: 9-12

Subject: Family and Consumer Sciences including Personal Financial Management, Culinary, Interior Design and Child Development.

Years as an educator: 33

Making Money Matter

Jump$tart Staff: “How do you make money matter to your students?”

Suzanne: “The main thing I focus on is current topics that are cutting edge and in the news.  The best example I could give you is taking the national news about inflation that is happening now and showing students current articles and news feeds.  Then discuss. The pandemic changed how we paid taxes and purchased groceries, bank, and work,  as well as, it  changed so many other aspects of our financial lives..  Students want to know what all the buzz is about!  I like to give examples of how working,saving and creating good budgeting habits will  affect their future self in a positive way.  I bring in bankruptcy judges, Insurance salespeople and even the local car dealership brings vehicles to class to explain the car buying process and what sticker price means.”

Jump$tart Staff: What are specific ways you get your students talking about money?

Suzanne: “I love to use the arcade games from NGPF and the activities and lessons from Take Charge Today.  Both organizations provide updated and engaging lessons and provide a huge variety of teaching tools for personal finance.”

Financial Education Requirement

Jump$tart Staff: “What is the financial education requirement in your state?”

Suzanne: “As Ohio Jumpstart Vice president, I am so excited to share that Ohio just passed a Bill that provides a semester long personal finance class as a requirement to be in effect for the 2023 incoming freshman.  We worked with Senator Wilson and could not have accomplished this without his support.   Former Teacher and Current NGPF’s team member, Brain Page, worked tirelessly to pass this bill. Many HS personal finance students testified regarding the worth and value of a dedicated semester long course!”

Called To Teach

Jump$tart Staff: “Can you describe your calling to teach?”

Suzanne: “Having 3 boys of her own and understanding the importance of financial literacy, ignited my passion to teach personal finance. I began teaching in 1983. In 2003, family and consumer sciences became standardized, popularizing the need for more financial literacy in classrooms. In 2011, I heard about Take Charge Today and became a State Educator under their tutelage. I began promoting financial literacy and later applied to be a master financial educator. Today, I am still serving as an “on call”  National Financial Educator. This has helped me in teaching my personal finance lessons in ways that are fun and engaging, which assists the student in retaining, and ultimately applying learned concepts to their real lives.”

Go-To Resources

Jump$tart Staff: “What are your go-to resources for teaching personal finance?”

Suzanne: “Take Charge Today, NGPF, Jumpstart Clearinghouse resources, Budget Challenge, Nearpod, Banzai, EDpuzzle and a variety of speakers, as well as field trips.  We have toured the Cleveland Federal Reserve and competed in a Junior Achievement Challenge.  I do have to mention FinMango that brings in a week long speaker who explains how to successfully invest in Stocks on a level the students can understand. It has become very popular.  Title of the Speaker: How to Become a Millionaire.”

About The NEC

Jump$tart Staff: How does the NEC effect your teaching?

Suzanne: “The conference is an uplifting experience where teachers come together from all over the country.  We share, brainstorm, and learn about new ways to teach personal finance from the amazing speakers , colleagues and vendors.  The best thing is the Leaders of National Jumpstart make the experience a fun and memorable one!  One example was the unforgettable Rock Hall of Fame visit while in Cleveland!  Outstanding!”