South Carolina Treasurer Curtis Loftis has recognized Hillcrest High School’s Leslie Carmel-Porras as the South Carolina Financial Literacy Master Teacher Program’s Educator of the Month for April.
“The education our K-12 students receive serves as the foundation that helps prepare them for life after high school. Just as the fundamentals of math, science, history and more have become central to a K-12 curriculum, it’s critical that we also make personal finance lessons a priority,” said Treasurer Loftis. “Ms. Carmel-Porras’ students are fortunate to have a teacher who develops engaging lessons to provide them with this vital information, and we hope one day all South Carolina students will benefit from a curriculum that includes personal finance.”
Carmel-Porras is a government and economics teacher at Hillcrest High School, where she also serves as coach of the Academic Team. A National Board Certified Teacher with over 24 years of experience, Carmel-Porras shares her passion for personal finance education through her involvement in an array of community activities, including teaching professional development classes and volunteering as a GED preparation instructor. She is a graduate of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Latin American history and a Master of Education with a concentration in curriculum and instruction. Carmel-Porras is currently pursuing a second Master’s Degree in economics.
“Since our emotional and physical health can often depend on balancing the stress of our financial obligations, teaching this vital information in high school helps students’ adulthoods to be healthier and happier,” said Carmel-Porras. “For every stage of life, personal finance plays a crucial role, and this knowledge can become a legacy that students pass on to their own children to create generations of good financial habits.”
The South Carolina Financial Literacy Master Teacher Program provides incentives to K-12 teachers who are experts in the area of financial literacy and have a desire to teach professional development workshops to other educators in their schools and districts. Through the program, participating teachers have access to specialized training and financial literacy curriculum resources that better enable them to promote financial literacy education in K-12 schools.
Sponsored by Future Scholar, South Carolina’s 529 College Savings Plan, and in partnership with SC Economics, this statewide financial literacy initiative aims to increase teacher support and involvement in incorporating personal finance education into the curriculum.