Search Resources

Jump$tart Announces the Inclusive Educator Award and Other 2022 NEC Scholarship Recipients


Washington, DC-November 17, 2021-To honor the outgoing Chairman of its national Board of Directors, the Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy announced creation of the Mike Staten Inclusive Educator Award to provide a scholarship for an outstanding teacher to attend the Jump$tart National Educator Conference.  Michael Staten, Ph.D., the Bart Cardon Associate Dean for Academic Programs and Career Development, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, at the University of Arizona, was on hand to hear the announcement of the new scholarship and its first recipient, Deborah Sonnichsen, of Foothill High School in Henderson, NV. “What a wonderful surprise it was to have my name associated with this scholarship.  I’m very honored by my coalition colleagues and extremely pleased that we’ve expanded our support for deserving teachers to attend our annual conference.  Their work in America’s classrooms is making a huge impact,” says Mr. Staten.


The Mike Staten Inclusive Educator Award joins three other scholarships that were established in 2019 in honor of the organization’s three former Chairs and focus on the key contributions that each made to the organization.


  • Randy Lively Pioneer Award remembers Jump$tart’s first Chairman and co-founder who was recognized as a pioneer in the financial literacy field. The 2021 recipient is Tiffanie Smith, a teacher at Heritage High School in Newport News, VA. Ms. Smith is recognized for breaking new ground in relevant financial education, especially in the wake of Hurricane Florence, the COVID-19 pandemic, and a recent school shooting, as well as her success in establishing a student-run credit union on campus.


  • Neil Milner New Ideas Award honors Jump$tart’s second Chairman, whose term was marked by fresh approaches and new ideas, including creation of the Jump$tart National Educator Conference. The 2021 recipient is Jody Sandru from Twin Bridges Public School in Twin Bridges, MT. Mrs. Sandru has 28 years of teaching experience and comes from a long lineage of teachers dating back to a one-room schoolhouse in Canada.


  • Ted Beck Effective Educator Award recognizes Jump$tart’s third Chairman’s commitment to making evidence-based decisions in striving to improve financial education. The 2021 recipient is Julius Prezelski, a teacher at Mount St. Joseph High School in Baltimore, MD. From basketball coach to business teacher, Mr. Prezelski uses coaching and storytelling as his unique approach to teaching. As a mentor, he uses his own personal experiences to teach the pitfalls and wins of financial management and does not shy away from difficult conversations in the classroom.


  • Mike Staten Inclusive Educator Award, presented this year for the first time to mark the conclusion of Dr. Staten’s two terms as Jump$tart’s Chairman, which were characterized by his commitment to growth and inclusion. Deborah Sonnichsen was selected as the 2021 recipient, applauding her personal advocacy to bring financial education to the students of Nevada and, importantly, the inclusion of students with special needs.


Recipients received their scholarships at the 12th annual Jump$tart National Educator Conference in Washington, DC, for attendance at the 13th annual conference, November 7-9, 2022, in Atlanta, GA.


For more information about the Jump$tart National Educator Conference, please visit our website.


Media Contact:

Jessica Cultra

Director of Communications

(202) 846-6780 ext. 103