MADISON — A trainer at Madison Space Memorial Excessive College has been acknowledged for her dedication to monetary training and fervour for instructing, however her colleagues and a former pupil say the life abilities she instills in college students as a tough-love educator and her understanding of change are what make her distinctive.
In September, Raelene Allen was named one of many high two Maine educators in monetary literacy by the Maine Leap$tart Coalition, which acknowledges people who stand out by way of their efforts to enhance monetary training to college students and households.
Impressed by a pupil trainer and former accounting trainer, Allen, with a level in enterprise training from the College of Maine at Machias, started instructing in 1999 at Madison Space Memorial Excessive College.
Her ardour for instructing, she says, comes from the “ah-ha” moments when college students perceive her classes.
In her monetary literacy class, which college students are required to take, she walks them by way of opening up a financial savings account, navigating banks, budgeting, spending, credit score, insurance coverage and investting.
Madison Excessive is a Gold Customary College for Private Finance, which means it requires all college students to take no less than a semester of non-public finance to graduate.
“I actually love when college students ‘get’ it, after they be taught one thing new and the look on their face is wonderful,” Allen stated. “They perceive and respect what they’ve been given, and that’s very rewarding.”
Allen additionally acknowledges that change is a continuing.
“We discuss so much concerning the distinction between what their mother and father used to do versus what they’re going to do to maintain their minds open for the long run,” Allen stated. “Issues are going to proceed to vary, however they need to be comfy sufficient to only go on the market and take a look at new issues.”
Instructing monetary literacy programs requires fixed coaching because the wants for such applications proceed to evolve. Allen often attends conferences and works with different educators across the nation.
One of the vital-rewarding components of her job, she says, is when college students attain out to her after they’ve graduated to thank her for setting them up for fulfillment with abilities that they realized in her classroom.
“She’s superb at what she does,” stated former pupil Regan Mantor, who graduated in 2018 from Madison Space Memorial Excessive College. “She is ready to go together with modifications and adapt to them and he or she loves it.”
Mantor met Allen early in her highschool profession and created a bond that Mantor says Allen has with many different college students.
“She’s at all times caught out as one among my favourite academics,” Manter stated, “as a result of she at all times took care of me and knew what was occurring.”
“She actually goes out of her means for her college students to ensure that we’re all taken care of.”
Mantor, a second-year psychology pupil at Thomas School in Waterville, stated the abilities she realized in Allen’s classroom have helped her in faculty and on a regular basis life.
“(Allen) has set me up for all times,” Mantor stated. “She taught us real-life info and made her lessons relevant to what we might be doing. I feel she’s simply an all-around, actually good, well-balanced particular person.”
Allen was nominated for the award by Principal Christopher LeBlanc and Steerage Counselor Dean Collins. Each have labored with Allen since she started instructing 20 years in the past.
“(Collins) introduced it to my consideration and anytime we will acknowledge one among our personal, we do it,” LeBlanc stated. “(Allen) may be very task-oriented, and if there may be something that this faculty wants, she is the go-to particular person.
“She has been right here for a very long time and understands the group and the significance of a small faculty, and may be very dedicated to her career.”
Added Collins: “You possibly can at all times ask her to do so much for us, and he or she does it. (LeBlanc and I) name on her to do quite a few issues in assist of the college and he or she is at all times blissful to do it.”
Past Allen’s dedication to high school and career, nonetheless, LeBlanc praises her instructing type, which he describes as a tough-love, skilled strategy within the classroom, with excessive expectations for all college students — no matter their plans for after commencement.
“She teaches most of the tender abilities obligatory for college students to achieve success, no matter their post-secondary aspirations — whether or not that’s to enter the workforce, go to a vocation faculty or go down the faculty observe,” LeBlanc stated.
“The scholars which have her are going to achieve success, no matter their post-secondary needs.”
All through the years, Allen stated, know-how has been the largest change she has seen in training.
“Electronics have modified our society and the best way that we have a look at training,” Allen stated. “I feel children right this moment consider conventional careers and don’t notice that we’re right here to show essential pondering and selections.
“It’s necessary that they take advantage of their training in order that they’ll do jobs that haven’t been created but — instructing them good work ethic in order that they’ll work independently and make money working from home as a result of that’s the place jobs are going to be sooner or later.”
Whereas Allen fills a number of roles at the highschool, she has additionally taught at different establishments, together with Kennebec Valley Neighborhood School in Fairfield, Thomas School, Yard Farms in Madison and Redington-Fairview Normal Hospital in Skowhegan.
Shifting ahead, Allen stated, her focus can also be on introducing monetary training on the junior excessive stage.
“It’s my objective for the yr to deliver classes for both academics to make use of, or I can go down and educate a lesson one afternoon,” she stated. “I simply need to open the door to monetary training. It’s a part of our life. If we will’t educate children life abilities in order that they’ll survive and be members of our society, it doesn’t matter in the event you’re an engineer working for the mill or in the event you’re working at Walmart. You want the monetary abilities in every thing that you simply do, and we want good employees in all facets, it doesn’t matter what job you’re working.
“Schooling is at all times going to be a part of our lives. We’re at all times studying one thing new.”