Fifty Years of Empowering Students with Financial and Economic Skills

Scottsdale, ARIZONA – November 20, 2023 – The Arizona Council on Economic Education (ACEE) proudly marked its 50th anniversary during the vibrant festivities of the 10th annual Champions in Education event held on November 17th. The dynamic celebration, adorned with a Back to the Future 80s theme, drew the attendance of hundreds of Arizona’s prominent business and education leaders. The funds generated at this electrifying event will propel ACEE’s mission to extend economic, financial, and entrepreneurship education to tens of thousands more Arizona children, fostering economic mobility.

Gretchen Donnell of Acorn Montessori School and Chris Haak of Chaparral High School received accolades as the recipients of the Economic Education Teacher of the Year award in their respective elementary and high school divisions. Ms. Donnell, reflecting on her journey from selling paper slippers as a second grader to teaching economics today, emphasized the invaluable role ACEE has played in providing teacher training, support, and impactful programs. She expressed her hope that her work would equip students with financial tools to navigate life beyond the classroom. Mr. Haak, grateful for the collaborative spirit among educators, shared, “Every year, new econ teachers bring fresh ideas that not only enhance my teaching but also offer students more opportunities to connect our content with their lives.”

The event buzzed with energy, featuring engaging games such as Price is Right, Name that 80s Tune, and Heads and Tails, hosted by Nick Ciletti, a seven-time Emmy award-winning journalist from ABC15 News. Keynote remarks delivered by Lyndel Manson, Treasurer of the Arizona Board of Regents, underscored the pivotal role of economic education and the enduring contributions of Arizona universities.

Balsz Elementary School District Superintendent George Barnes exclaimed, “I don’t know how you will top this, but I am sure we will all accept a sequel…”

For a visual journey through the night’s festivities and to explore the community’s support, visit here.

About Arizona Council on Economic Education:

The Arizona Council on Economic Education (ACEE) is a non-profit organization dedicated to equipping students with essential life and workforce skills. For 50 years, ACEE has worked tirelessly to empower K-12 students in Arizona, fostering their understanding of economics and personal finance through innovative programs, teacher training, and community partnerships.