The financial literacy program at Mount Saint Mary Academy in Watchung, New Jersey has a new local celebrity in its midst. Kathleen Brennan, the program’s founder, was honored recently in New York City at the W!SE Foundation’s MoneyPOWER Conference and was presented with recognition as a Gold Star Teacher, one of the foundation’s highest honors.
Earlier this year, Mount Saint Mary Academy received recognition by the W!SE Foundation as one of the nation’s top 100 institutions for teaching financial literacy. Brennan was also a keynote speaker at the conference where she spoke about the philosophy of the Academy in working to empower young women through better financial acumen.
The Academy was the only Catholic all-girls school in the country on the top-100 list and Brennan credits her staff for such recognition. The program was designed with the express intent to give students a richer and more in depth understanding of mathematics at it relates to finance. According to Brennan, the math teachers who work within the program help students to apply economics in conjunction with decision-making skills to real-world finance scenarios such as spending, earning, and money management.
The financial literacy program was first initiated by Brennan because, as she says, she felt as though the field of finance and financial literacy has largely been dominated by men both in the United States as well as in other developed countries around the world.
The ultimate goal, she says, is to allow her staff of math teachers to give students the tools they need to not only get by in the financial world but to “thrive and be innovators therein.” The program emphasizes such topics as interest calculation, present value, banking, finance, and career planning.
And according to Brennan, none of it would be possible without the dedication and commitment of her “exemplary staff of quality math teachers.”