She uses game to teach real financial lessons

February 27, 2004|by SCOTT BUTKI

A South Hagerstown High School teacher with a class that plays an adapted version of Monopoly using accounting software to track transactions is being honored by the Maryland Bankers Association.

This is the fourth year that Sharon Hogan has been the lead instructor and coordinator of the Washington County Board of Education's Academy of Finance program at South Hagerstown High School. About 20 students are in the academy.

The 120-member Maryland Bankers Association has named Hogan its Financial Teacher of the Year. Seven people were nominated for the award, which is in its second year.


Hogan is to receive the award and a $500 prize at a ceremony on March 3 in Annapolis. She said she will use the money to pay for expenses for an annual academy banquet and for academy field trips.

Past field trip destinations included the New York Stock Exchange.

Hogan also organizes field trips to local businesses, such as to Citicorp, where students can meet different employees.

"They can see where they would like to work and set their goals accordingly," she said.

As part of her accounting class the students play the game of Monopoly, recording each cash transaction and putting together financial statements, she said.

The money each player starts with is treated as the owner's investment of a fictitious real estate company each student creates for the class, she said. The work helps the students learn about finances and accounting, she said.

Hogan said she was surprised she won the award but pleased that the academy might get more publicity and recognition.

"I think it is the best kept secret in the school system," said Hogan, who teaches accounting, economics and word processing.

Hogan was nominated by Dave Barnhart, Hagerstown Trust senior vice president of marketing, who is the chairman of the academy's board of directors.

"I think that what impressed me the most is her dedication to the students and to the program itself," Barnhart said. "She has found ways to integrate the Academy of Finance curriculum into pretty much everything the students do."

The academy includes four finance-related classes, a Hagerstown Community College class and an internship with a business, Hogan said.

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