Gerri Otto, a social studies resource teacher for Baltimore County Public Schools, was honored with the Elementary School Teacher Award during the eighth annual Maryland Financial Education and Capability Awards ceremony, held virtually on May 5.
The awards program is presented by the CASH (Creating Assets, Savings, and Hope) Campaign of Maryland, Maryland Council on Economic Education, and Maryland State Department of Education.
Otto, who is a resident of eastern Baltimore County. was recognized for bringing the Stock Market Game to many BCPS schools and for co-writing K-3 curriculum for personal finance to be implemented countywide. Seventeen elementary, middle, and high schools are participating in the Stock Market Game this school year. The personal finance curriculum was used during the 2020-2021 school year for Grade 3. BCPS intends to pilot the curriculum for Kindergarten to Grade 2 during the 2021-2022 school year. Topics covered by the curriculum include economic wants and needs, goods and services, savings and spending, resources, decision making, markets, income, jobs, opportunity cost, spending plans, and charitable donations.
For her honor, Otto receives a $1,000 financial award made possible by the Maryland Society of Accounting and Tax Professionals and the Woodside Foundation. CSX was the title sponsor of the virtual event with SECU as the presenting sponsor.
Because no ceremony was held last year (due to COVID-19), the 2020 winners who were announced last year also were honored during this year’s virtual event. Among them was 2020 Elementary School Teacher Award winner Florence Falatko of Cromwell Valley Elementary Magnet School.
“As an organization focused on supporting the education community, the Maryland Council on Economic Education is proud to celebrate the educators who are being recognized this year for their excellence and innovation in teaching critical personal finance skills,” said Julie Weaver, executive director of the Maryland Council on Economic Education. “This has been a year like no other, and the economic impact of the pandemic has shown us the importance of financial preparedness for families and communities. We applaud these teachers for impacting not only their students, but in many cases their students’ families as well.”