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Educator Spotlight of the Month: February 2022


February 2022 Spotlight: Heath Howington

Image caption: February 2022 Spotlight: Heath Howington

Junior Achievement of Southwestern Indiana gives a spotlight to a local educator every month by publishing an in-depth interview about their JA experience.

JA: What grade do you teach & where?

HH: I teach Business Education.  Grades 9-12.  Reitz Memorial High School.

JA: Are you a Junior Achievement Alum.  If so, tell us about your Junior Achievement experience when you were a student.

HH: I do not recall having Junior Achievement as a student; however, it has been a very positive experience for me as an educator.

JA: How long have you hosted Junior Achievement programs in your classroom/school?

HH: Since 2012, I have worked with Junior Achievement to incorporate their programs into our curriculum.  This began in my first year at North Posey High School.    

JA: Why did you initially choose to have Junior Achievement programs in your classroom/school?

HH: At North Posey, we first implemented the Personal Finance program into my senior Economics classes.  This course educated students on the importance of money management as they prepared for the next steps of their journey.  Regardless of the career path that students decide to pursue, gaining an understanding of personal finance concepts is critical to success.

JA: What do you enjoy most about having Junior Achievement programs taught to your students?

HH: We have also incorporated the Innovation Challenge program.  Students create their own products and give a sales pitch to a panel of judges, similar to Shark Tank.  Our students at North Posey had an outstanding experience with this program, and we have enjoyed kicking off this program at Memorial!   In the spring of 2019 at the district competition, we had the overall winner, Alexandra Stump. 

JA: What reason would you give to another educator on why they should have Junior Achievement programs in their classroom/school? 

HH: I have seen first hand the positive impact that Junior Achievement has on students.  It is beneficial for students to learn from business people throughout the community and gain a new perspective. 

JA: How do you feel JA relates to what you/other educators teach in the classroom?

HH: Junior Achievement has so much to offer.  There is a lot of flexibility in terms of what can be provided in the classroom.  Teachers can choose a program that best fits the needs of their students while aligning with the state standards.

JA: What value do you feel a JA volunteer provides you and your students?

HH: It is rewarding for students to connect with business leaders in our community.  Not only do our students gain important knowledge from our sponsors, but as an educator, I learn something new each session as well.

JA: What is one of your favorite JA moments?

HH: At North Posey, one of our Junior Achievement sponsors was Nick Bohler.  He taught the Personal Finance course to my senior Economics students.  This began in 2016.  In addition to teaching business, I was also the Varsity Boys Basketball Coach at North Posey.  

Once Nick concluded the course, I invited him to stop by a practice.  The next week he did.  The following week, he stopped by a couple of more times.  By the end of the season, he was sitting behind the bench at every game!  The following year, Nick joined our coaching staff as a Volunteer Assistant.  He is now a paid Assistant Coach for North Posey.  This relationship all started through Junior Achievement!  I am grateful for this connection as we are still great friends to this day.

JA: In what ways has the pandemic changed how JA is being taught in your classroom/school?

HH: Junior Achievement has adapted their programs to meet the needs of young people.  Virtual options have been available to allow students to still learn more about these essential topics.  We are grateful for the opportunities they continue to provide to our students! 

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