Financial Education and Capability Awards - plants growing on stacked money

Financial Education and Capability Awards

The Financial Education and Capability Awards Program highlights the dedication and success of public school teachers, community champions and outstanding organizations who deliver financial education. Financial education focuses on a range of financial management concepts and behaviors including budgeting, careers and income, credit, savings, financial decision-making, and understanding values and habits about money.

The awards are coordinated by CASH, the Maryland Council on Economic Education, and the Maryland State Department of Education. We thank The Woodside Foundation and the Maryland Society of Accountants and Tax Professionals for their generous support of the awards.

We were thrilled to virtually honor the 2021 and 2020 Financial Education and Capability Award winners on May 5, 2021. We kicked things off with a great welcome video from elected officials, sponsors, and special guests. Special thanks to the event Presenting Sponsor SECU and Title Sponsor CSX. Check out the full video from the event or the individual winner videos below!

2021 Financial Education and Capability Award Winners:

  • Elementary School Teacher Award: Gerri Otto, Baltimore County Public Schools – For bringing the Stock Market Game to many of BCPS high, middle and elementary schools and by writing a curriculum for K-3 on personal finance to be implemented countywide. (video)
  • Middle School Teacher Award: Carol Schaper, Sykesville Middle School (Carroll County) – For her dedication to teaching financial skills to her students and being a leader among the Carroll County Public School Middle School Family and Consumer Science teachers and creating and sharing engaging lessons and activities to benefit all. (video)
  • High School Teacher Award: Michael Baker, Crossland High School (Prince George’s County) – For his dedication to teaching personal finances on the high school level. He has run the Academy of Finance at two high schools in Maryland and now teaches Financial Literacy for Teens full-time at Crossland High School in Temple Hills. Previously when he worked in Montgomery County, he had written financial literacy curriculum on several occasions and many of his lessons are still being used countywide. (video)
  • Community Champion: Jesse M. Ketterman, University of Maryland Extension (Allegany County) – For his multiple roles focusing on financial literacy including leadership role on the Financial Wellness Team, teaching numerous financial programs focusing on various financial topics, and working with local colleges to discuss budgeting, credit, and managing student debt; also with senior centers to increase awareness about financial exploitation; and with youth on basic financial concepts. (video)
  • Outstanding Organization: Financial Education Partnership of Washington County (FEPWC) – For a program that is a collaboration between REACH of Washington County, Horizon Goodwill Industries, Interfaith Service Coalition, and Lasting Change, and offers completely free financial education services to low-income people. (video)

2020 Financial Education and Capability Award Winners

Because the 2020 General Assembly Session was cut short due to the pandemic, there was no Awards ceremony last year. Therefore, those 2020 winners were recognized during this year’s virtual event:

  • Elementary School Teacher Award: Florence Falatko, Cromwell Valley Elementary Magnet School (Baltimore County) – For being a leader in financial education in elementary schools and infusing it not only in schools but in training other teachers in the field of financial education. (video)
  • Middle School Teacher Award: Charles Emerson, Vanguard Collegiate Middle School (Baltimore City) – For tirelessly supporting his school’s large refugee population, many of whom have recently arrived in this country and all of whom struggle not only with math but also with basic financial literacy. (video)
  • High School Teacher Award: Austin Hill, Edgewood High School (Harford County)  For advocating financial education by incorporating local resources to further the learning experiences for his students, connecting not only students within his class but all classes within the department to local credit unions or providing them with financial literacy events and lessons. (video)
  • Community Champion: Ambus Hunter, CASH Volunteer (Parkville, Baltimore County) – For providing over 100 hours as a volunteer Financial Educator, his dedication to helping others increase their financial well-being by becoming an accredited financial counselor AFC® with AFCPE & promoting financial education/counseling across the state. (video)
  • Outstanding Organization: Bank On Gaithersburg (Montgomery County) – For creating a diverse coalition of professionals that provides access to low-cost bank accounts, budgeting help, financial and credit education and counseling, vocational coaching, summer youth employment, and housing counseling to the community. (video)
  • NEW! Woodside Award: Maryland Consumer Rights Coalition (Statewide) – For their successful advocacy efforts in Annapolis and beyond that have resulted in numerous changes to policies, products and practices to protect low-to-moderate income Marylanders from predatory practices that affect their finances. (video)