Economics for Empowerment
Our mission is to help teachers bring Economic reasoning skills to their students in a manner that is comprehensible, insightful, and relevant in order to empower them to achieve their goals.
Our vision is student recognition of their power as the most important resource they (and society) have and confidence in their ability to participate successfully in the economy. Students will apply Economic reasoning to their decisions in school, at home, at work, and in their role as informed citizens. Student empowerment through economic reasoning leads to greater individual fulfillment, a stronger economy, and greater civil discourse.
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Born and raised in Los Angeles, California. Graduated from California State University Northridge in 1982 with a B.A. in Psychology and a minor in Economics. Received a Teaching Credential in 1989 from California State University Northridge. Earned first master’s degree at Pepperdine University (American Studies with an emphasis in Economics) in 1994 on a Keck Fellowship. Attained a second master’s degree (Education) and an Administrative Credential in 2001 at California State University Dominguez Hills.
Full-time teaching (World History, U.S. History, California History, AP U.S. Government, Economics) began in 1989 at Westchester High School followed by California Academy of Math and Science (CAMS) teaching honors Economics and U.S. Government to 12-grade students. Taught courses of U.S. Government and Honors Economics at California Academy of Math and Science (CAMS) for thirteen years and then three years at Narbonne High School (Economics, U.S. Government, U.S. History). Became a part-time adjunct professor in the Teachers Education Department at the California State University Dominguez Hills (2002-05). Taught as an adult schoolteacher for twelve years on a part-time basis with the Los Angeles Unified School District. Developed ‘Financial Advisor Contest, an innovative financial literacy contest for high school students put on by CCEE and an entrepreneurship project ‘Student Inventors, Inc.’ In addition, created the ‘Economics Ambassadors’ program which had 12th-grade students teaching approximately 10,000 local elementary and middle school students basic economics concepts.
Retired in 2020 as Principal of Harts Academy of Los Angeles after seven years from 2013-2020. Now devote most of my productive time on designing Economics lessons and overseeing programs that promote Economic Education for California Association of School Economics
Developed economics teaching materials and conducted workshops nationally and internationally for teachers and students from the Kindergarten through doctoral level. Authored Choices and Changes, MoneyWiseTeen (winner of two international awards for creative marketing), the Teacher Guide to the California Economics Standards, and edited Living the American Dream (CEE and CCEE publications). Served on the faculty of the Foundation for Teaching Economics (FTE) from 1991 to 2012. Serves on the boards for CASET (California Association of School Economics Teachers – co founder), California Council for Economic Education, and the California Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy.
Developed a new California high school Economics course that emphasizes relevance to students. Currently advising San Bernardino City Unified School District, infusing personal finance into the k-12 curriculum and was the economics editor of the Wall Street Journal Classroom Edition Teacher Guide.
Served as economics consultant to the California Commission for the Establishment of Academic Content and Performance Standards (1996-1998), on the ten member writing team for K-12 national economics standards, the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing Content Review Panel for History/Social Sciences, the Review Committee for the National Standards for Business Education, the commission that recommended revisions to the History/Social Sciences 2017 Framework to the California State Board of Education, as one of 3 economists authoring the economics section of the national College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies State Standards, reviewer for the National Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy 3rd edition of the National Standards, on the Rollout Team for the new Framework and on the California “Content, Literacy, Inquiry, and Civic Life” Advisory Board
Brian teaches AP Microeconomics, AP Macroeconomics, and AP Statistics at Loyola High School of Los Angeles, his alma mater. In the past, he has also taught World History and Human Geography. For ten years he has served at the AP Reading in Macroeconomics, and more recently, as a Table Leader and Question Leader; in 2014, he joined its Test Development Committee. He is a board member for the California Association of School Economics Teachers, CASET, and has presented at their annual conference, including at the San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank.
His “Students Teaching Students” economics service program has been featured on NPR’s Marketplace Money, the Los Angeles Times, and the Epoch Times (a Mandarin newspaper). He was recognized with the Teacher of the Year Award from the California Council on Economic Education (CCEE) in 2010 and also from the National Council on Economic Education (CEE) in 2015. His students won CCEE’s Capital Markets Contest in 2007. Outside of the classroom, he has been the boys’ Head Varsity Tennis Coach for 8 years, and previously a soccer and track and field assistant coach.
He holds a B.A. from Georgetown University and an M.A. in Economics from CSULA and an M.A. in Educational Technology from GCU. He and his wife, Amy, live in Culver City, California, with their three children, Molly, Dylan, and Henry.
Gifford Asimos retired in June of 2023 after serving 37 years in the classroom. During his last teaching assignment Giff served as the Business Department Chairman and Lead Teacher for the Business Career Pathway at Helix Charter High School in San Diego, teaching Dual Enrollment Courses for Grossmont College. Giff taught Econ. 120 Macroeconomics, Econ. 121 Microeconomics, Bus. 109 Elementary Accounting as well as a course titled Empowering Entrepreneurs.
Giff started his teaching career at Ramona High School in San Diego in 1987 where he taught Economics and coached football and baseball and was a co-sponsor of the FBLA Club. Giff took on the responsibility of WASC Site Coordinator and was named teacher of the year twice before leaving Ramona. During his tenure in Ramona, Giff participated in the Golden State Exams program as a Reader, Table Leader and finally as a Chief Reader and a member of the test writing committee.
Giff began teaching at Helix Charter High School in 2000, where he started an AP Economics program which started with 17 students in 2001 and grew to over 130 students in 2015 before transitioning the program to Dual Enrollment status. Giff also started a Business Career Pathway program in 2002 and acted as the Perkins Grant writer and coordinator for over twenty years. As Lead Teacher in the Business Pathway, Giff and his Entrepreneurship students started a T-Shirt Printing Company on Campus which then expanded to include engraving and banner making.
He continues to volunteer on the Economics Education Foundation of San Diego Board of Directors as a Teacher Representative and Treasurer and on the CASET Board (California Association of School Economics Teachers) as Treasurer and past President. Giff completed his undergraduate studies in Business Economics at Colorado College. He received his teaching credential from the University of Colorado at Denver and his M.B.A. from National University.