Joel Chrisler has been a teacher for the past 31 years at Sauk Prairie High School in Prairie du Sac, Wisconsin. In 1990 upon accepting his first teaching position he was given a textbook and asked to create a class emphasizing economics and financial literacy. No one else wanted to teach it and this is where his passion grew. He could share stories of financial success, stories of financial hardship but most importantly the stories of how young people must prepare themselves for their own future. It is the kind of class that benefits students immediately. The result was a semester course called Consumer Economics and he has been sharing real life financial lessons with thousands of students ever since. The opportunity to impact students’ lives daily is what inspires this educator.
In 2011, Chrisler was awarded the Economics Wisconsin and Robert W. Baird Excellence in Teaching Award. In 2012, he was recognized by Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin with the Governor’s Award for Financial Literacy for his Peer-To-Peer Mentor Program in which his high school students share financial lessons with elementary students. He hosted an internet radio program called Real Life 101 and was instrumental in getting School Board approval for a graduation requirement in Financial Literacy for his school district. He was also a 2019 Herb Kohl Educational Foundation Finalist and a 2020 recipient of the VISA Innovative Educator Award. He has attended all of the Jump$tart Coalition National Educators Conferences and contributes it as the stepping stone to become a national advocate for Financial Literacy.
Joel Chrisler wants to help make a difference in his students lives and hopes to share that with others as well. He is often quoted as saying, “I have done some smart things financially but I have made my share of mistakes as well. My hope is that I have made the mistakes so my students won’t have to.”