MADISON — A teacher at Madison Area Memorial High School has been recognized for her commitment to financial education and passion for teaching, but her colleagues and a former student say the life skills she instills in students as a tough-love educator and her understanding of change are what make her exceptional.
In September, Raelene Allen was named one of the top two Maine educators in financial literacy by the Maine Jump$tart Coalition, which recognizes individuals who stand out through their efforts to improve financial education to students and families.
Inspired by a student teacher and former accounting teacher, Allen, with a degree in business education from the University of Maine at Machias, began teaching in 1999 at Madison Area Memorial High School.
Her passion for teaching, she says, comes from the “ah-ha” moments when students understand her lessons.
In her financial literacy class, which students are required to take, she walks them through opening up a savings account, navigating banks, budgeting, spending, credit, insurance and investting.
Madison High is a Gold Standard School for Personal Finance, meaning it requires all students to take at least a semester of personal finance to graduate.
“I really love when students ‘get’ it, when they learn something new and the look on their face is amazing,” Allen said. “They understand and appreciate what they have been given, and that’s very rewarding.”
Allen also recognizes that change is…