Teaching Awards

Recognizing Outstanding Educators | 2024

Do you have a passion for economics education? Do you have a unique or exemplary approach to teaching economics?  Or do you know someone who does? The Minnesota Council on Economic Education’s (MCEE) teaching award program is a unique opportunity to be recognized for your hard work and dedication to economics education.


Each year MCEE honors Minnesota educators who effectively teach economic and personal finance principles using innovative, culturally responsive, and creative teaching practices. The awards honor teachers who incorporate exemplary teaching techniques that improve the economic and personal finance understanding of their students, both in and out of the classroom. Teaching award honorees are recognized in one of the categories below and each honoree receives $1,000, a plaque, and a certificate. 


Nominations for 2024 awards will be accepted December 1, 2023- June 24, 2024. 

Nominate today to be placed in a $25 Amazon Gift Card drawing!

Applications for 2024 awards will be accepted December 1, 2023- July 15, 2024. 

Apply today to be placed in a $50 Amazon Gift Card drawing!

MCEE Minnesota Educators of the Year | 2023

Katie June Calvert  |  Gr. K-5  | Cedar Creek Elementary School, St. Francis Area School District 

Press Release

Katie Calvert, is the recipient of the Kindergarten through Fifth Grade Educator of the Year award, and a dedicated and innovative 3rd-grade teacher at Cedar Creek Elementary school in the St. Francis Area Schools District. With 17 years of teaching experience, Katie has transformed her classroom into a hub of culturally responsive teaching practices. She has cultivated a dynamic classroom economy system that empowers her students to become self-reliant and cooperative, fostering a sense of community and shared responsibility. Through this unique approach, she not only imparts valuable lessons in personal finance and economics but also instills a passion for these subjects in her young learners. Her commitment extends beyond the classroom as she encourages her students to engage in conversations about financial literacy with their families, creating a holistic learning experience. Katie's unwavering dedication to equipping her students with essential life skills and her remarkable ability to inspire both colleagues and young minds make her a well-deserved honoree. Katie's innovative and culturally responsive teaching practices are shaping the future financial literacy of her students and earning her the admiration of her colleagues and the community alike. 

Joel Coleman |  Gr. 9-12  | Minnetonka High School (nominated as Ubah Medical Academy teacher), Minnetonka Public School District

Press Release

Joel Coleman, is a recipient of the Ninth through Twelfth Grade Educator of the Year award was nominated for his work at Ubah Medical Academy and now teaches at Minnetonka High School within the Minnetonka Public School District. His teaching approach to economics and personal finance stands out for its innovativeness, as he masterfully transforms what students often perceive as dull and challenging into an engaging and enjoyable learning experience. Through simulations, activities, and captivating lessons, such as distributing scarce chairs and negotiating labor contracts, Joel captivates his students' interest throughout the semester. He maintains their motivation by connecting economic concepts to their real-world experiences, encouraging them to actively observe and analyze their community's economic trends. Additionally, his culturally responsive teaching practices shine as he bridges the cultural gap for his East African charter school students, integrating Islamic religious beliefs into the personal finance curriculum and sharing his expertise with educators nationwide. Joel's dedication to making economics accessible and exciting, coupled with his commitment to cultural sensitivity, underscores his well-deserved recognition as an outstanding educator.

Michelle Traeger |  Gr. 9-12  | Edina High School, Edina Public School District

Press Release

Michelle Traeger, is a recipient of the Ninth through Twelfth Grade Educator of the Year award and is a dedicated and innovative educator at Edina High School in the Edina Public School District. Her approach to teaching economics and personal finance is characterized by a commitment to continuous improvement. She actively seeks out resources and strategies from organizations like MCEE and the National Council of Economic Education, integrating engaging simulations and lessons into her curriculum. Michelle's ability to keep her students motivated and inspired is rooted in her talent for making economic concepts relevant to their lives, fostering engagement through debates, simulations, and activities. Moreover, she exemplifies culturally responsive teaching practices by genuinely "seeing" her students, utilizing surveys, individual connections, and thoughtful group dynamics to create a safe and inclusive classroom environment. Michelle's passion for economics and personal finance education, combined with her transformative impact on students, makes her a well-deserving recipient of this teaching award.