Maui Teacher Wins State Award for Economics Class
By Madeline M. Ziecker
Danielle de Jesus, a teacher who has worked at Maui High School for over three years, has won the Hawaii Council on Economic Education (HCEE) 2011 Economics Teacher of the Year Award.
The Economics Teacher of the Year Award is a $1,000 award presented to an outstanding elementary or high school teacher who has conducted an exemplary economics program and has encouraged the growth and development of an effective economic education program.
For over two years Ms. de Jesus has participated in five or six workshops with HCEE and has integrated economic literacy into her courses with HCEE’s curriculums. She was chosen by the HCEE for this year’s award because of her excellence in fitting the criteria for the contest, and more.
The contest criteria that Ms. de Jesus has fulfilled are: developing an innovative and effective classroom program, unit, or project within the existing curriculum or in a stand-alone economic course, increasing student economic literacy, demonstrating the use of a variety of developmentally appropriate methods and resources in teaching economics, and participating in HCEE professional development activities to increase students’ knowledge of economics.
In addition to fitting contest criteria, Ms. de Jesus has also integrated economic programs outside of the curriculum to engage students such as completing the Hawaii Council on Economic Education’s Economics & Leadership Cadre program and infusing economics into the college readiness program: Advancement via Individual Determination (AVID).
The State of Hawaii does not require completion of an economics course in order to graduate from high school, but HCEE advocates integrating economics into required courses. The HCEE provides programs for teachers K-12 state wide on all islands for public and private schools. Their principal is that economic literacy is integral for current and coming generations.
Toni Takeno, Excecutive Director of the HCEE describes the organization’s mission as, “Providing training for teachers to integrate financial literacy and economic literacy into classrooms state wide.”
“Coming from someone who didn’t really understand economics and still learning about financial literacy, I am so grateful to the Hawaii Council on Economic Education for giving me the opportunity to not only discover a new love – economics – but to share this new found love with my students,” said Danielle de Jesus.
“I’m also thankful for all the support from my colleagues at Maui High School and my wonderful AVID students and their parents.”
Danielle de Jesus will be honored at HCEE’s Annual Dinner on Friday, September 30th. HCEE will fly her over and accommodate her in the Sheraton Hotel in Waikiki, Oahu. Dorvin D. Leis is also to be honored at the dinner for his extraordinary support in economic education.
The Economics Teacher of the Year Award is sponsored by Hawaii Pacific University.
For more information on the Hawaii Council on Economic Education, visit http://www.hcee.org/.