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Name: James Meadows

School: Gretna High School, Gretna, VA

Grade levels: 9-12

Subjects: Accounting I & II, Business Law, Business Management, Computer Programming, Digital Applications

Years as an educator: 6

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

James: “I make money matter to students by telling them real life stories. My mom is a retired bank teller of 45 years and I share a lot of her stories with my students. Additionally, I tell the students how I received my first credit card while in college and thought I could go on a spending spree with no consequences.”


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

James: “In Virginia, it’s a graduation requirement that all students must take and pass an Economics and Personal Finance class. We also offer the W!SE industry certification.”

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

James: “Teaching is something I never saw myself doing. I was a newspaper reporter and editor prior to teaching. The newspaper industry was becoming a dying business; therefore, I was laid off. From there, I began substitute teaching. I had a few stints as a long-term substitute in the English department and one stint in the business department. I quickly learned that I was more inclined to teach business classes than I was English.”

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

James: “My go-to sources for personal finance are Next Gen Personal Finance and EVERFI. Both of these have a curriculum that is easy to follow and most importantly relatable and understood by high school students. When it comes to NGPF the students are a big fan of the arcade games and they like the real-life scenarios with EVERFI.”

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

James: “NEC helped me network with other educators not only in my state, but across the country. Some of the people I depend on the most are in Arkansas, Oregon, Nevada, Washington, Maine, Texas, and Michigan. These teachers share resources, listened, and have offered feedback that goes beyond the classroom.”