(Augusta) – For the past five years, the Maine Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy has recognized an individual for his or her outstanding work in financial education. They are pleased to name Jeanne Billings of Mt. Ararat High School as the 2017-2018 recipient of the Financial Educator of the Year Award. In addition to the award, she will receive a $500 financial education grant from Machias Savings Bank and an all-expenses-paid trip to the National Jump$tart Educator Conference in Washington, D.C. this November, where she will network with financial educators from around the country and gather resources she can use in her classroom.
After thirty-eight years of teaching, Billings has mastered the art of engaging students in her lessons. Her comprehensive knowledge of financial literacy topics combined with her dedication to her students makes her one of Maine’s most powerful assets for financial education.
Just a quick look at Billings’ Independent Living Class, which has become one of the school’s most popular electives, reveals her creative, thorough and unique approach to teaching financial literacy. She incorporates technology, personal examples, community organizations and practical assignments to keep students interested in the material. “She is an effective teacher who has instilled financial life lessons, skills and concepts to both concrete and abstract thinkers alike,” writes Cindy, a parent of two students who took Billings’ class. She continues, “Her diligence, patience and love for the job shine through and are bested by none.” Her course has been deemed so valuable to students’ future success that many have called for it to become a graduation requirement.
Students, parents, faculty and staff alike admire Billings not only for her love of teaching, but for her commitment to the lifelong success of her students. Cameron, a former student of Billings, told Maine Jump$tart, “She cares about her students and their learning and has the experience and knowledge to give them not only the best education possible, but the best chances at a financially stable future.”
Billings will be formally honored at the 2017 Fostering Financial Education in Maine Schools Conference on May 11th, at the Augusta Civic Center. Maine Jump$tart is thrilled to grant this award to such a hardworking, passionate individual as Jeanne Billings of Mt. Ararat High School.