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Educator Spotlight: Amy Cargiulo encourages reflection through personal finance education

March 22, 2023 2:04 PM | Dawn Baker (Administrator)

Amy Cargiulo

Waverly Elementary

Howard County Public Schools

For almost two decades, Amy Cargiulo has witnessed first-hand the power of personal finance education. As a fifth grade Gifted and Talented Resource Teacher at Waverly Elementary in Howard County, she finds it on the faces of students participating in MCEE’s Stock Market Game™, in the insightful questions they bring from home, and in the stories she hears from former students!  

Today, Amy guides more than 100 students a year to be part of the Stock Market Game™. And throughout their experience, she encourages them to remember something important: always reflect! 

“I want my students talking and thinking about what they are learning as much as possible,” she says. “And with something as fun and hands-on as the Stock Market Game™, that’s no problem. Students excitedly discuss ideas and questions non-stop - even bringing conversations home and questions to the class from their families.” 

Those reflections result in thoughtful student essays submitted to MCEE’s Investwrite competition, a Stock Market Game™ companion program that challenges participants to share their experiences and lessons. Her students are thinking deeper, and through participation in Investwrite, organizing what they learn into a narrative - thereby retaining the information and setting themselves up for success. Amy ensures all of her students participating in the Stock Market Game™ enter Investwrite. 

To help, MCEE is on hand to answer questions and provide regular workshops and educator sessions that give teachers the context, expertise, and strategies they need to make the most of student participation in these engaging competitions (educators can check out the MCEE event calendar for the latest!). 

It’s clear from student essay responses that the approach sticks. Amy regularly welcomes former students back to class to share their journeys towards financial success thanks to lessons learned in her class. She even helped some former students start a Stock Market Game club at the high school they now attend! 

Amy’s introduction to personal finance education in the classroom began almost twenty years ago, when “a colleague was working with MCEE on the Stock Market Game™ before she literally fell off a horse, and had me jump in and cover the program! She thankfully ended up being okay, but I was enthralled with the value of this experience for students. I dove in head first and haven’t looked back!” 

Along the way, MCEE has been there to support her. “MCEE is absolutely wonderful. They are always available to answer any questions I have and provide resources I knew (or didn’t know!) I needed.”  That support goes both ways. Amy, now a proven, successful educator in personal finance, has served on MCEE’s advisory board - helping us refine, enhance, and improve our resources and guidance for teachers statewide - no matter the subject. 

Towson University
8000 York Rd.
Towson, MD  21252-0001

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