Brett Shifrin Honored as Maine’s Top Financial Literacy Educator
Gould Math teacher Brett Shifrin P ’19 was recently honored as the 2016 Maine Jump$tart Coalition Financial Educator of the Year. Shifrin is a veteran teacher with over two decades of experience who created the innovative course, “Mathematics of Financial Matters.” The goal of the course is to introduce students to financial literacy as they become adults.
Along with the award, Shifrin received an all-expense paid trip to attend the National Jump$tart Educator Conference in Dallas, Texas, as well as a $500 financial education grant from Machias Savings Bank. The Jump$tart Coalition is a national organization with chapters in every state that partners with businesses, financial institutions, schools, government agencies, and non-profits to “work together to educate and prepare our nation’s youth for lifelong financial success.”
Shifrin’s student Nick D’Amico ’18 testified how relevant Shifrin’s course is to the real world, and how fun and useful the course is for him:
“I can truly incorporate what I learn in class into the real world. Learning about the stock market and how to use spreadsheets is very important since finance is something that I am interested in pursuing in the future. Mr. Shifrin does a great job creating fun and useful activities to help us learn. We video conferenced with Idin Dalpour ’03, a Gould alumnus who is now working in New York City as a real estate investor. He helped us to better understand the idea of ‘leverage,’ which we were studying in class during that time.”
“I can truly incorporate what I learn in class into the real world.”
– Nick D’Amico ’18
Shifrin was nominated for the award by Mathematics Department Chair Andee Alford P ’18, ’20. She noted that his course development has come through innovative thinking, professional development, and plain hard work. “Brett has done a tremendous amount of professional development in financial literacy. He attends the Maine state financial literacy course yearly, he is enrolled in a financial planning course from Boston University right now, and he involves students in The Stock Market Game, in fact, two of his students won for the whole state of Maine this year.” said Alford.
Gould students Richie Hoge ’17 and Nate Baroni ’17 finished in first place in the year-long high school division, and will be honored at the University of Southern Maine later this month.
“When Mr. Shifrin announced to our Calculus class that we could participate in the mock portfolio game I was really excited.” offered Hoge. “I have always had an interest in trading and thought it was a great opportunity to get some experience. I read a Barron’s article about trading ETN’s (Exchange Traded Notes), which give you a return on commodities like oil and gold, or an index like the S&P 500. We had steady gains throughout the year but it was a roller coaster at times, like election night. We knew we had it in the bag when the S&P hit all time highs in February. I still can’t stop thinking about how much money we could have made if it was real. Wall Street, here we come!”
President of the Jump$tart Coalition Mary Dyer echoed D’Amico’s sentiments, “Brett’s dedication to financial education is making a difference in the lives of his students, and that is a gift worthy of recognition,” said Dyer. “The board was impressed by his innovation, and commitment to helping students and the community to better understand financial education.”
Congrats Brett. We’re impressed too.