Educators honored for commitment to teaching financial education

Sept. 8, 2021 – Whether they’re running special programs, serving as leaders, or doing exceptional work in the classroom, four Duval County Public Schools teachers have something in common — a commitment to economic and financial education.

So much so, they were recognized as among the best in the state, with three winning a Regional Economic Educator and Leadership (REEL) Award; and one being honored as the Economic Educator of the Year!

Reel Awards

Three of the honorees are recipients of the Regional Economic Educator and Leadership – or REEL – Award. These awards celebrate educators who work to bring economics, personal finance, entrepreneurship, and free enterprise education to our youth.

  • Asia Hutchings/Rutledge Pearson Elementary – Hutchings has distinguished herself for introducing her elementary students to concepts like savings and helps them learn about different career paths.
  • Phyleshia Jackson-O’Neal/Jean Ribault High School – Jackson-O’Neal, who just retired from the district, spent years facilitating the VyStar Academy at Ribault, where students gain real-world, on-the-job experience.
  • Dr. Kesha Walton/Sandalwood High School – Dr. Walton mentors young women ages 13 to 17 in Girls, Incorporated – teaching them about financial literacy and financial planning, as well as helping them form relationships in the community.

Economic Educator of the Year Award

Congratulations to Eric Fields of Mandarin High School who was selected as the Charles Harper Economic Educator of the Year.

This award honors one outstanding K-12 educator who is considered “an advocate for economic and personal finance education and who seamlessly integrates it into their coursework.”

Fields is earning this honor after many years of leadership in economic education, which includes serving as a Teacher Mentor, an AP Microeconomics Reading Table Leader, and a leader of workshops for the Foundation for Teaching Economics.

His students regularly place high in state and national competitions, and he holds two master’s degree, one that he finished this summer.

Each of the four winners received special prizes including $200 Amazon gift cards for the REEL Award winners and a thousand-dollar stipend for Fields.

They were all also recognized during Tuesday’s Board meeting, with each receiving a Superintendent’s Coin of Excellence from Dr. Diana Greene.