LEXINGTON, Ky. (3/20/13) – Kevin Clary, a long-time educator at Jessie Clark Middle School, was named the 2013 Teacher of the Year by Junior Achievement of the Bluegrass. He was recognized at Tuesday’s JA Adopt-A-School breakfast reception and awards program, held at the Griffin Gate Marriott.
JA piloted its financial literacy series in Clary’s seventh-grade classroom about five years ago, and childhood friend Todd Sallee has volunteered to teach it there ever since. “He’s very passionate about each lesson and contributes as much as I do, which is critical to the class’ success,” said Sallee, a JA board member who works at Kentucky Employers’ Mutual Insurance.
Hearing authentic stories from people out in the community brings it all home for the young business-marketing students. “The earlier they learn how to deal with money, the more responsible they will be as they get older,” Clary noted.
This year, JA is reaching nearly 3,000 seventh-graders with its financial literacy program, including Harrison Hart of Southern Middle School. Speaking briefly at Tuesday’s breakfast, he described how JA has taught him about check-writing, account-balancing, the stock market’s importance to the economy, taxes and the national debt.
“JA has made an impact on me and my classmates about banking and how to use it,” Harrison said. “I can honestly say it will help me down the road.”
In addition to praising this year's Adopt-A-School partners, JA announced Ronn Robinson of Frankfort as its Volunteer of the Year. Robinson, a corporate communications manager with American Electric Power, has volunteered with JA in four states throughout his career. “If I can get out for an hour and work with students, it’s the highlight of my day,” he said.
Junior Achievement of the Bluegrass educates young people about workforce readiness, entrepreneurship and basic financial matters such as household budgets and balanced checkbooks. JA, which offers sessions in 11 of its 18 coverage counties, has about 500 volunteers active in more than 770 classrooms this year. In the Adopt-A-School program, companies provide student materials and volunteer training for a particular school. Additional partners sponsor the financial literacy programs.
Tom Shelton, superintendent of Fayette County Public Schools, thanked the community’s business/education partners for their continuing support, wisdom and guidance.
“It’s very important our students see the relevancy of what they’re learning,” he said. “When JA partners share what’s happening out in the real world, it shows them how to apply what they learn.”
Information provided by Tammy Lane
Photos provided by the Fayette County School System
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