A Holmen High School business teacher recently had the opportunity to acquire more tools for guiding her students in money management.

Amy McCutchen received a scholarship to attend the 2016 Jump$tart National Educator Conference Nov. 5-7 in Dallas, Texas.

“I loved the conference and have many new tools and resources that can be used when teaching personal finance,” McCutchen said. “Personal finance is a required course at Holmen High School; most take the class in their junior year and some in their senior year.”

A 2002 HHS graduate, McCutchen returned to Holmen as a teacher beginning in the 2007-08 school year.

McCutchen received the scholarship to attend the conference through a program Jump$tart offers first-time conference attendees. In addition to basic information, the application for the scholarship asked applicants to indicate how many students they impact each year in their personal finance classes and to provide an example of an “aha! moment” with one of their students.

“The ‘aha moment’ I submitted was when one of my students I had in class as a junior came back to me a year later to talk about renting,” McCutchen said. “We had a unit in personal finance on renting an apartment, and she wanted to review the unit with me again before she started looking for her first place to rent.”

At the conference, McCutchen and other attendees were able to share information about their programs, as well as hear from nationally known experts. One of the speakers was Adam Carroll, the creator of the documentary “Broke Busted & Disgusted,” which tells the story about the college student debt situation.

“The highlight of the conference was networking with people from all over the United States that care strongly about teaching our youth about financial literacy and listening to speaker Adam Carroll,” McCutchen said. “Carroll’s message was about student debt and how we need to guide our students to make sound decisions when taking on debt for college.”

Jump$tart is a nonprofit made up of a coalition of financial education stakeholders. It brings together organizations committed to advancing financial literacy among pre-school through college-age students.

The coalition offers 24 scholarships to pre-K through 12th grade classroom teachers to attend the conference. McCutchen was the only area teacher to attend the conference, where she joined personal finance educators from 46 states.

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