Valley Schools Nationally Recognized Despite Challenges

Three Valley high schools are receiving national attention for their achievements when it comes to something that most of us should be doing every day.

Students Taking Math at East Rockingham High School

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ROCKINGHAM COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) -- Three valley high schools are receiving national attention for their achievements when it comes to something that most of us should be doing every day.

Students at Broadway, East Rockingham and Waynesboro High Schools at are learning how to check bank statements and manage their finances. Their teachers say they never received an education like this when they were in school.

In fact, 29 Virginia high schools are on this year's list of top 100 schools for for personal finance instruction. It's a skill one Broadway teacher says she values.

"Oh, I think every child in the U.S. should have it, personally. It makes them much better citizens. It'll help our economy a lot. It was really good for me to teach it, because I was older. It's definitely a life experience class,” shared Broadway High School Math Teacher, Jeannie Sterner.

Though being recognized on a national level is quite the achievement, it doesn't come without its challenges.

The new classes are having a negative impact on the class sizes within some schools because the state's required personal finances classes are leaving less room in the schedule, fewer seats in classes, and less money in the budget.

"That puts a strain on our teachers, because it makes them teach sections that they didn't have to teach prior to that," shared Broadway High School principal Bryan Huber. He's working hard to make sure Broadway continues to be nationally ranked for personal finance classes. It's a challenge his history, business, and math teachers work on every day.

"(We had) very limited resources. We basically pulled all three subjects together and used the Internet quite a bit," added Sterner.

East Rockingham High School's Principal Eric Baylor is doing the same with his school.

"It comes down to the teachers and the kids, though," Baylor explained.

His school is also ranked among the nation's top 100. While these students can manage their money well, their principals are frustrated that leaders in Virginia haven't done same in passing a state budget.

"It keeps everybody in limbo. You have to work on projects instead of real numbers," Baylor concluded.

That issue makes scheduling more award winning courses in our schools tough for these educators.

The number one school on the list is Passaic County Technical Institute in New Jersey.


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