The Governor's Institute on Financial Education, a program offered by the Pennsylvania Office of Financial Education, awarded Panther Valley High School teacher Susan Solt the Ripple Effect Award for integrating financial concepts into her lesson plans.

Solt is one of five teachers who received the award this year.

At Panther Valley, Solt teaches personal finance, accounting and business to students in grades 10-12. Her personal finance class has become a graduation requirement for all students.

"My course is a hands-on, in depth approach to learning the financial skills necessary, especially in today's unstable economy," said Solt, of her personal finance class.

In the class, she teaches skills such as payroll calculation, budgeting and financial plans, managing checking accounts, savings and investing, and calculating compound interest, among others.

To supplement these skills, Solt has redesigned the personal finance curriculum to include activities such as the Stock Market Game and the National Financial Capabilities Challenge. She will also be opening a student run school store.

The Ripple Effect Award is given to teachers who have been able to make an impact on students and drive them toward a better financial future. Solt believes that she has done just that.

"Many of my students are currently employed in order to help their families during these difficult financial times, so the concepts they are learning are already being utilized. Students are talking to their parents about saving, investing, and preparing for college or the workforce," said Solt. "Many parents have said that they wish they had a personal finance class when they were in school and several former students have told me that they are more confident preparing for their financial future."