CTE Instructional Leader/High School of Business Coordinator/DECA Advisor
School: Mountain Range High School
Location: Broomfield, Colorado
Hilary earned her Bachelors of Science in Business Administration from the University of Colorado where she majored in Marketing and minored in Leadership. Since that time, she obtained a Masters Degree in Educational Counseling, a Career and Technical Education Certification through Colorado State University, and an Educational Specialist Degree in Educational Leadership. She is a licensed Colorado Career and Technical Education Educator, School Counselor, and Principal.
She started working in business in 2004 and was soon recruited to be a high school teacher. She has been honored at the local, state, and national level. She was awarded Colorado DECA Advisor of the Year in 2016, Adams 12 Certified Educator of the Year in 2019, and Colorado Teacher of the Year in 2020.
Hilary serves as the Career and Technical Education Department Chair and High School of Business Program Coordinator at Mountain Range High School. She is the sponsor for the largest DECA Chapter in Colorado and the school Investment Club. Her students have raised over $56,000 to feed, clothe, and educate children in Ethiopia. In addition, they have raised over $54,000 for children in Pediatric Hospice. At the district level, she leads Career and Technical Education Professional Learning Teams in curriculum development and is currently working with Next Gen Change Makers to ensure that all students in the United States leave high school financially literate. In order to accomplish this goal, she is taking courses and working on becoming a Certified Financial Planner.
We asked Hilary a few questions. Her answers are below.
WHAT STUKENT COURSEWARE HAVE YOU USED?
One of my personal missions is to ensure that every student in the United States has access to an engaging, relevant Personal Finance course and personal finance units throughout high school. Mimic Personal Finance is an incredible tool and has helped revolutionize my classroom. In addition, I teach higher level finance concepts to business students. I truly believe that these concepts cannot be understood without having a solid foundation and understanding of personal finance.
Teachers have always been looking for a simple way to incentivize their classes and Mimic provides the solution. I was lucky enough to attend a Stukent presentation of the Mimic Personal Finance Software in 2019. Now, my students learn personal finances and finance through a fun, engaging Mimic financial simulation. Students are in control of their net worth and they spend the semester trying to build the highest net worth in class. Students are paid, have to pay bills, save for different types of expenses, invest in the stock market, and experience the uncertainty of life. The best part is that they can see–in real time–how every decision they make impacts their personal finances and their accounts.
Every student in my class can now explain assets, liabilities, net worth, and fixed and variable expenses. They are starting to learn how to move from being business consumers to being business owners. They are learning concepts that many adults don’t understand, and they are having a great time learning. In fact, many of their parents keep telling me that they wished they would have had the chance to learn this content while they were in high school.
WHAT TEACHING TIPS WOULD YOU SHARE WITH OTHER PROFESSORS?
One of the things I focus on most in my classroom is ensuring it prepares students for real life and their future. I treat my students as employees and they are expected to act like employees. They sign contracts and must abide to the terms of their employment contracts.
Most of us are learning in some type of hybrid or virtual format, which has helped my students prepare for the future workforce. When we switched to remote learning, I was worried because I heard that we could not require students to turn on their cameras. I decided to use Mimic to create incentives for my students to turn on their cameras. I listed houses and rental properties that had features including turning cameras off. If a student wanted to buy or rent a property that would enable them to turn their camera off, they had to pay premium prices. Students quickly realized it would be better to pay less and wear a hat for the day.
Using the Mimic Personal Finance simulation, I can incentivize anything. If I need a student to help me with miscellaneous class activities, I offer Mimic Money and the whole class is willing to volunteer. For example, my video chat monitors receive Mimic Bonus Money. I always have a volunteer chat room monitor and they do an exceptional job. The best part is that my students are learning about personal finance and I get extra help: Win, Win! Since I teach business, students now come up with tasks they think need to be completed and they offer to complete them for me for Mimic Money.
WHAT ARE YOUR HOBBIES AND TALENTS?
I love traveling, spending time with my family, and giving back to my local community. In my free time, I also swim competitively with the Masters Swim team. I didn’t start swimming until I was 38 years old, so this has been a fun adventure for me!
Connect with Hilary Wimmer
Thank you, Hilary, and congratulations!
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