Free Lance-Star reporter Amy Umble covers Stafford County schools and other education issues

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Stafford teacher wins award for teaching finances

Stafford High School teacher Kaye Pennock was recently named the “2012 Outstanding Economic Educator” by the Virginia Council on Economic Education.

In her 10-year career teaching economics and personal finance at Stafford High School, Pennock has won multiple Creative Design awards in Internet Marketing classes, guides students through the Stock Market Game in Finance classes, and has guided award-winning students to California to compete at National FBLA competitions for Finance.  

Many students–past and present–recommended Pennock for the award, saying that she helped them learn real-world skills such as filling out tax forms, conducting mock job interviews and budgeting for future mortgage and car payments. 

Pennock said:

 I am extremely surprised and flattered that I am the state’s finance/economics teacher of the year…

Like most teachers, I’m very passionate about the growth and development of young people.  By high school, they are very familiar with the need to excel in the core classes and the SOL test requirements. They don’t have a clue about how to prepare for a career, manage money/budgets, complete tax forms, or understand any of the related economic issues.  So, high graduates roll out to college or into the workforce able to complete algebraic equations, but cannot write a check or understand the current unemployment crisis.  Personal Finance and Economic curriculum is as vital to student education as the core classes.
It’s exciting but also very humbling to be chosen as this year’s recipient.  I’m certain that there are plenty of teachers across the state that are working hard and doing the same as I am.