Cheryl Coughlin, M.Ed.
Special Educator, Case Manager, and Business Teacher
School: R. W. Traip Academy
Location: Kittery, Maine
Cheryl Coughlin, MEd, has been teaching for over 35 years at secondary and post-secondary schools in Boston, Massachusetts, and Maine. She has certifications in both special education and business education.
Currently, Cheryl is a special education teacher and case manager. In addition, she teaches personal finance, accounting, and investing to juniors and seniors at R.W. Traip Academy in Kittery, Maine.
Outside of Traip Academy, Cheryl runs a small, college and career counseling business helping students make informed career and college decisions, explore occupations, find internships, and prepare for job shadowing. In addition, she helps families navigate through the college application process and make a smooth transition to “life” after high school. She also works for the Department of Labor as a mentor/tutor helping students transition to the workforce or college.
Cheryl is a member of the Independent Educational Consulting Association (IECA), the New England Association for College Admissions Counseling (NEACAC), and the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACT).
We asked Cheryl a few questions. Her answers are below.
WHAT STUKENT COURSEWARE HAVE YOU USED?
I used the Mimic Personal Finance curriculum for the first time with my personal finance class this fall and love that it provides students with real-life experiences handling finances through an interactive simulation. I will definitely continue using this curriculum in the future. It is a very effective and engaging way to teach students in our current hybrid and remote-learning models.
WHAT TEACHING TIPS WOULD YOU SHARE WITH OTHER PROFESSORS?
At the end of each unit, I bring in a professional from the community (realtor, financial advisor, car salesmen, stock market coordinator, bank manager, mortgage broker, college advisor, accountant) to share about their experiences and specific career and to provide students with helpful tips and suggestions to align students for success. Students are asked to research the topic, come up with questions to ask the guest speaker, and then write a personal “thank you” note to the guest speaker.
At the end of the course, students are assessed on a culminating project of buying a house. The goal is to take them through the process of buying a home: qualifying through calculating a debt-to-income ratio, researching homes on Zillow, identifying mill rates and competitive interest rates within their buying power, and reflecting on this process to determine if the purchase is attainable and what they learned.
WHAT ARE YOUR HOBBIES AND TALENTS?
I am passionate about building positive relationships with students and families to help students achieve academic success as they develop strengths, identify learning struggles, build self-confidence and advocacy skills, and develop effective study skills.
I am surprised at how little students know about financial literacy at the beginning of the class. It’s gratifying to have a student tell me that they are aware and in a financially better place because they know how to manage their money.
Thank you, Cheryl, and congratulations!
Connect with Cheryl Coughlin