17th Annual Iowa Jump$tart Educators Conference

The 17th annual Conference for Personal Financial Literacy was held on Wednesday, June 21, at DMACC’s FFA Enrichment Center in Ankeny. The conference was an opportunity for teachers and other educators to gain knowledge of the resources and tools available for financial literacy in the classroom.

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Julie Ntem, project manager at Iowa College Aid, began the 17th annual conference by welcoming all attendees, volunteers and exhibitors. Kira Currier, the 2017 Money Smart Kid from Johnston Middle School, then read her winning essay answering the question: Do you think there is a connection between financial health and physical health? What can you do to become more financially healthy? To read Currier’s essay, click here.

Opening Keynote: Just 1 Person

Travis Lloyd shared personal stories about growing up being labeled as an “at-risk” kid and how he was able to develop into a well-rounded contributing member of society with the help of others. He shared with attendees that it took just 1 person to plant seeds that guided him to the path of health, happiness and success. Lloyd’s keynote reminded attendees of why they chose this path and how much they matter in the lives of their students.

Iowa Department of Education

Stefanie Wager, Financial Literacy Consultant at the Iowa Department of Education, gave an update of the new statewide financial literacy standards and discussed the work already being done to provide resources and professional development in financial literacy. To view the new standards, click here.

Breakout Sessions

Throughout the day, nine different breakout sessions were offered. These breakout sessions included: Budget Stimulation (Erick Danielson, Iowa College Access Network), Using Online Smart Borrowing Tools in Your Classroom (Marc Hendel, Iowa Student Loan), Financial Literacy for K-12 Educators (Kyle Osborne, TS Institute), Implementing NGPF Case Studies in the Personal Finance Classroom (Amanda Volz, St. Clair, Michigan Financial Management teacher and 2016-17 Next Gen personal Finance Fellow), Evaluating Online Resources (Sandra O’Brien, Kirkwood Community College), Leading Difficult Conversations with Students on Personal Finance (Kent Johnson, Consumer Credit of Des Moines), Running a Classroom Economy Simulation for a Jr. High Classroom (Ali Thompson, Southeast Polk Schools), Demystifying Credit Reports (Adriane Moline, Horizons, A Family Service Alliance), and Financial Aid Exposed! (Julie Voss and Elizabeth Sedrel, Iowa College Student Aid Commission).

Strategic Sharing Panel

During the lunch hour, Travis Lloyd facilitated a strategic sharing panel with three young adults coming from different backgrounds. The panelists walked attendees through their backgrounds, the financial challenges they faced while growing up and what they wish they would have been taught about finances. Two educators wrapped up the panel by sharing opportunities and challenges of teaching financial literacy in the classroom.


Attendees were also able to visit with exhibitors to learn about financial literacy resources available to them and their classroom.

Closing Keynote: How financial Education Needs to Change in this Era of Innovation

Amanda Volz from Next Gen Personal Finance provided an informative closing address on the most disruptive changes occurring in this era of innovation and the modernized resources Next Gen has to offer, including lesson plans, activities, case students and much more. To view Next Gen’s website, click here.

2017 National Conference Scholarship Winners

The winners of the Iowa Jump$tart scholarships to the 2017 National Educators Conference Nov. 3-5 in Washington, D.C. were announced. The scholarship recipients were: Dione Ferguson (Brody Middle School, Des Moines), Bryan Bjorklund (Mason City Community School District), Consuelo (Connie) Bates (North High School, Sioux City), Elizabeth Martinez (North High School, Des Moines), and Linda Vanden Bosch (Clarinda Community School District).

Next Gen Personal Finance also awarded a free trip to the National Educators Conference to one attendee. The winner drawn was Shontrelle Johnson (Poverty Reduction Specialist with Polk County).

Iowa Jump$tart Member Award

Joanne Kuster with Kuster Ltd. was awarded the Iowa Jump$tart third annual member award for her service with the coalition. Joanne has been a leader and has a true commitment to improving the personal financial literacy of all Iowans.  Joann was instrumental in helping grow the Money Smart Week program across the state.

Fiscal Fitness – Reaching it and Teaching it!

New this year was a bonus day two of the conference, Fiscal Fitness – Reaching it and Teaching it! Mike Johnson, financial planner and educator at Southeast Polk High School, lead attendees through important financial concepts via case studies, self-reflection and classroom lesson examples. David Strege with Syverson Strege and Company explained the ins and outs of investing. Nick Gerhart with Farm Bureau shared his expertise on insurance.