Teacher Spotlight — Steve Stofelano

We recently asked Steve Stofelano, a business teacher in New York, a few questions about his Budget Challenge experience. Here's what he had to say.

In 2014, I accepted a new CTE/Business teaching position in the rural Adirondack Region of upstate New York. As I was developing the curriculum for our Career & Financial Management program, I read an article in the Sunday Parade Magazine about Budget Challenge and immediately recognized the value in the features offered in the simulation, signing up for it in the Spring of 2015. I have used it every year since. The students love the real-time nature of the many aspects provided and the phone app option. Although they are always asking "why can't we control the credit card?" they come to understand that aspect as the simulation progresses!

As ninth graders, this is the first experience they have ever had in managing money or discussing in a meaningful way what their families are regularly talking about, which is particularly timely as they are all looking forward to getting their first "on the books" job come next summer when they will be able to work legally with their newly issued working papers.

There are so many resources offered within BC it allows me to easily differentiate my instruction for every level of interest and ability. The "hands on, learn by doing" approach provides a true career & technical education (CTE) experience in the home school. Parents are amazed that this is offered and respond "I wish I had this when I was in school!"

The simulation has made many refinements over the years and with the schools being closed in light of the COVID pandemic, BC has been the ideal platform to keep our students engaged with meaningful learning experiences that will provide them with financial and technology skills for the future!