Alfred P. Sloan Teaching Champion Awards

CEE is seeking Applications from NY Metro-Area Educators for the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Teaching Champion Awards.

2014 Announcement | Apply Today | See 2013 Winners

The Alfred P. Sloan Teaching Champion Award is presented to economics educators in the New York metropolitan area who have shown excellence and innovative teaching methods in their classrooms. The award aims to promote economic and financial education at the K‐12 level by recognizing teachers who effectively deliver this important content in their classrooms and achieve results.

2013 Awardees

2013 Alfred P. Sloan Teaching Champions on Classroom Innovation Alfred P. Sloan Teaching Champion Awards

Watch the video to see the 2013 Alfred P. Sloan Teaching Champion Award winners talk about tackling innovation and how they implement it in their own classrooms.


Kathleen Brennan Alfred P. Sloan Teaching Champion Awards Kathleen Brennan
11–12th Grade Teacher of AP Economics, Economics,
Financial Literacy and AP Statistics
Mount Saint Mary Academy, Watchung, NJ
Read on: Q&A Educator Spotlight
Watch on: Highlight Video

Kathleen Brennan has spent the last 14 years as the head of the math department at Mount Saint Mary Academy in Watchung, NJ. She has a BS in Economics from St. Peter’s University and an MA in Economics from Rutgers University. She has taught all areas of Math from Algebra I through AP Statistics. She currently teaches AP and regular Economics, AP Statistics, and Financial Literacy. She has guided her students in the Euro and Fed Challenges. Both of these activities deal with economic issues, the former in Europe and the latter in the United States. In 2012, she was commended for her work in secondary education with the NJ Nonpublic Teacher of the Year Award. Prior to teaching career, she was employed as an economist, working on public policy issues for the United States Department of the Interior and the Environmental Protection Agency.

Her community service includes standardized test preparation classes at Queen City Charter School in Plainfield, NJ and a financial literacy class for parents at Maple Avenue School in Newark, NJ. Her memberships include the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, the New Jersey Social Studies Council, and the Global Association of Teachers of Economics. She is an active member of the Council of Economic Education, having facilitated teacher workshops on financial literacy and economics in the New York metropolitan area.

“I believe that economics has gotten a bum rap—it is not the “dismal science”, but it can be in the hands of an uninspired teacher. It’s important for educators to make the subject come alive and show students that economics provides a framework for better understanding our increasingly complex world. Economic literacy is an essential part of a well-informed citizenry.”

Wendy Garcia Buchanan Alfred P. Sloan Teaching Champion Awards Wendy Garcia-Buchanan
4th Grade Teacher of Language Arts, Math,
Social Studies and Science
Park Avenue Elementary School, Freehold, NJ
Read on: Q&A Educator Spotlight
Watch on: Highlight Video

After 10 years in the banking industry, Wendy Buchanan returned to the classroom in 1900 where she taught first grade in the Newark Public School System. Wendy, her husband and two children, moved to Freehold, New Jersey, and shortly thereafter she accepted a position in the Freehold Borough School District.

Over the last 15+ years at Park Avenue Elementary, Wendy has been recognized as the 2007 Park Avenue Elementary School Teacher of the Year, the 2007 recipient of the Governor’s Teachers Recognition Program, the 2012 Izzit Teacher of the Year, and has received countless grants from the Freehold Borough Educational Foundation, Donors Choose, and the Target Corporation. Using this grant funding, she has had the opportunity to bring a wide portfolio of fun and engaging financial literacy programs into a classroom of young students who would have never otherwise been exposed to such important lessons and concepts.

This year, Wendy will be stepping into a new role that will allow her to work with students in grades, 3, 4, and 5. Her mission is to see her financial literacy program continue in the 4th grade, as well as expand to other classrooms at Park Avenue Elementary School. She plans to use the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Teaching Champion Monetary Award to begin a small business with her 5th graders to promote entrepreneurial education in her school.

“Even at a very young age, teachers can begin the process of molding their students into responsible financial citizens for the future. 100% of our students will become financial decision makers, like it or not, and the success of their decisions will be based on their economic and financial literacy or lack thereof.”

Saji James Alfred P. Sloan Teaching Champion Awards Saji James
10–12th Grade Teacher of Economics & Global History
Concord High School, Staten Island, NY
Watch on: Highlight Video

Saji has been teaching at an alternative/transfer school since he began his teaching career 15 years ago. He has students who need a second chance to complete their high school diploma. It has been both challenging and rewarding at the same time. He taught at Queens Academy H.S for 8 years and the remaining 7 years at Concord H.S. In order to motivate students in his economics class, he tries to relate his lessons to their daily lives. He also has an adopt-a-student mentoring program at Concord H.S. where each staff member “adopts” a few students and guides them till they graduate high school.

During Saji’s career, he has helped students successfully pass the Global History Regents exams. He has also participated in and created lesson plans for the Teaching American History Grant program at Princeton University, Brooklyn College and various museums in NYC. During one semester, Saji was able to secure a grant to tutor students after school through the Jordan Fundamentals Grant program. Recently, he received a grant through the National Endowment for the Humanities to study in detail Eastern Europe in Modern European History at N.Y.U. In addition, Saji has utilized the different segments of CEE’s Financing Your Future and Risky Business DVD’s in his class. Both videos have accompanying lesson plans that help him to connect the concepts at the end of a chapter and introduce basic economic/life skills. His students are especially interested in the “Higher Education Equals More Money” and “Making Healthy Choices” segments of the DVD.

“Since economics is at the center of everything we do, it is important to encourage students to make informed personal finance decisions. With a better understanding of economics, students will be able to make better choices and hopefully be better prepared for the future.”


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