These teachers have successfully completed a rigorous certification program and taken on the role of economics ambassadors in their schools, districts, and major social studies and economics conferences. They are the core of CASET.
Los Angeles Unified School Distict
Benjamin Bergstrom is an Economics and Government teacher at HArts Academy and has been teaching for 16 years. His teaching philosophy is loosely based on Maya Angelou’s words that people will forget what you said or did but will not forget how you made them feel. He is blessed to work at HArts Academy surrounded by outstanding teachers and administrators.
Whether students are throwing paper airplanes into hula hoops to simulate market economies, eating Snickers till they get stomachaches to show diminishing marginal utility, or running a campaign to become President of the United States, students are engaged. And if students are engaged, they are learning.
Benicia Unified School District
Joan Westerman has been teaching Economics and Mathematics at Benicia High School since 2008. Her students placed 1st in CCEE’s 2013 Moneywise Teen Competition and 3rd in CCEE’s 2018 Financial Adviser Contest. Joan partnered with the SFFED to bring programs like “Invest In What’s Next” to her students and with Patelco and Travis Credit Union to bring students a Bite of Reality and Mad City Money.
Her participation in the 2018 California High School Economics Teachers Certification program profoundly changed the way she teaches and the way her students learn how Economics can empower them to choose their best life. Prior to a career in teaching, she worked in banking as a credit analyst (SunTrust) and private banking Officer (First City Texas), as AVP in strategic and market planning (SunTrust) and M&A (Bank of America), and VP and Manager of Wholesale Consulting (Wells Fargo).
Joan graduated from Vanderbilt University with a B.S. in Mathematics, with minors in Business and Computer Science. She earned her M.B.A. in Finance from U.C. Berkeley’s Haas School of Business and her teaching credential from Sonoma State University. Joan holds a California Teaching credential in Economics, Business, Accounting, Finance and Mathematics. She enjoys racing sailboats on San Francisco Bay, hiking, skiing, horseback riding and yoga.
Napa Valley Unified School District
Scott has taught in Mountain View High School, in Tucson, Arizona; Vista School, in Yuma, Arizona; Middle College at Foothill College, in Los Altos Hills, CA; Vintage High School, in Napa, CA; and American Canyon High School, in American Canyon, CA. He has taught College Prep Economics for about seven to eight years at American Canyon High School, along with 10th grade English, Digital Media, Robotics, and World History.
Before the CASET-CCEE Certification Program, his Economics curriculum was mostly a series of projects strung together, with occasional notes from a boring and out of date textbook. Some of these projects were engaging, but Scott expressed that he felt there was no common narrative or purpose to what he was teaching. The CASET-CCEE Certification Program gave him a rationale for teaching Economics: make it all about the senior in high school, with a focus on human capital. With this mindset, he was able to streamline the curriculum into 4 units, which build upon one another, and connect everything back to the student.
Porterville Unified School District
Emily Drum is an enthusiastic educator dedicated to empowering students. She has been a classroom teacher for 14 years and now serves as an Instructional Coach for Porterville Unified School District. Emily is passionate about making Economics interesting and accessible to all students.
She loves to share the valuable resources from the California High School Economics Teachers Certification program with new and veteran teachers across Porterville and Tulare County. The impact of this program has been magnified in Emily’s new position as an instructional coach because she is able to plan, model, co-teach, and coach teachers through a variety of resources that have been provided by the program.
Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District
Kip has taught Economics, AP Economics, as well as Civics and World History at Livermore High School, in Livermore, CA for more than 10 years. He has always tried to go to CASET programs whenever they take place in the Bay Area because I find them both fun and informative. He viewed the CASET Certification program as a “capstone” of all the CASET seminars he has attended, and it exceeded his hopes. It has provided a wealth of activities and techniques to teach economics that go way beyond basic materials and that have made economics both fun to teach and transformative for his students.
Salinas Union High School District
Bryan Sloss taught at Soquel High School in the Santa Cruz area from the early ‘90’s until 2006 when he moved to Everett Alvarez High School in Salinas, CA. He has taught Economics throughout much of his career and began teaching our AP Microeconomics class a few years ago. While he was already familiar with economics education and some of the activities they presented, attending the CASET workshop was a great opportunity.
CASET’s approach to teaching economics is very student centered and makes economics accessible to all students. Students learn by doing, and the experiential exercises and simulations allow them to do that. The best part is that the activities are fun. Students are going to be engaged and involved, and they’re going to want to be in class to see what happens next. It’s a great program.
As a teacher of nearly 30 years, he knows CASET has helped him to become a better teacher.
“If you’re a teacher who doesn’t have much of an economics background and got assigned to teach the economics classes, CASET will help you. If you have experience with teaching economics, CASET will make your classes better. As an added benefit, you’re really going to like the folks involved with the program. They have been incredibly friendly, knowledgeable, supportive, and generous with their time.”