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Mr. Irzyk wins Distinguished Educator Award

Jim Irzyk has been molding the next generation of business leaders since he arrived at Wilbraham & Monson Academy in 2012.

Recently, through his dedication and work outside of WMA, the Academy’s Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship, Economics & Finance earned national recognition, and was named a Distinguished Educator by Next Gen Personal Finance.

To receive an award, teachers had to complete six NGPF certificate courses. Mr. Irzyk finished 12.

Quotes from Mr. Irzyk

On why he has been taking the NGPF courses: “The courses are a wonderful way for me to enhance my teaching. The online classes are interesting and challenging, and allow me to interact, learn and share ideas with other teachers across the U.S. Each class typically has over 50 teachers enrolled.”

On what he likes about the courses: “The classes are interactive and very well designed. NGPF offers significant resources to teachers to use in their classes. The activities are varied - videos, articles, TED Talks, infographics, data analysis. It is the best professional development organization I have seen in a long while. Their mission of ‘school is where life-changing financial education can reach ALL young people, not just the lucky few’ strives to help teachers be better teachers of financial literacy.”

On how the courses help in his position at WMA: “The classes provide significant resources for me to improve my teaching. For example, I start every class with a ‘Question of the Day’ to engage students in the lesson. NGPF provides multiple activities ranging from ‘data crunch to data analysis and FinCap Friday lessons’ that I regularly incorporate into my classes.”

On winning an award from NGPF: “I take pride in continuing to learn how I can better incorporate activities and lessons into my classes. Earning this award took over 100 hours of professional development.”

Quote from Walter Swanson, Dean of Faculty

On Mr. Irzyk as a teacher: “Mr. Irzyk is a dynamic and passionate educator who strengthens the financial education of our students. He has always been committed to continual improvement in his classes, and his own professional learning is a model for our students that ever-changing fields require continual study.”


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