Teacher Spotlight



Fran Squires M. Ed. took home Second Place in the Entrepreneurship category, middle school division at the 2017 Governor’s Award Program For Excellence in Teaching Economics, for her project: “V.I.O.L.E.T.S. Vigilance in Our Learning Economics Teaches Success”. Her hands-on project was focused on an economics club created to help motivate and encourage entrepreneurial thought and creativity among her middle school students. Fran’s all female, “Baker’s Dozen Club” challenged 13 students with IEP’s to work as a team and develop products to sell at their school Market Place. To see Fran’s winning project application, click below.

Project Application

School: Pine View School

School District: Sarasota County

Subject: Advanced Level Language Arts

Grade Level: 6th Grade

Number of Years Teaching: 45

When did you know you wanted to be a teacher? Probably as a third grader because my teacher was amazing and fostered my creativity

If you weren’t teaching what would you do? Owning my own business.

What’s your favorite topic to teach?
Writing in Language Arts and Entrepreneurship in Economics

What’s the hardest topic to teach? Writing

Why do you think Economics and Personal Finance are important to learn?
We live in a global society and as citizens in a global society, students must know how the economy will impact their lives. Personal finance is a critical tool for achieving financial success for every student and a course on the subject should be required in high school.

How has the FCEE impacted your teaching?
The FCEE has provided so many outstanding opportunities for me to learn about economics and the Governor’s Awards kicked off my 18 years of participation. I will never forget the first awards banquet held at Disney. I got home late and had my National Board Certification Exam the next morning at 8:00. I could hardly sleep because my mind was planning my project for the next year.

What’s your favorite FCEE resource or program?
I loved all of the classes and In-Service programs that I have attended over the years at the USF Stavros Center on Economic Education. Mr. Geoff Simon financially supported my trip to Mississippi to receive the National Economic Education Elementary Teacher of the Year in 2008. The Governor’s Awards each year are so special and worthwhile. I love to see what other teachers do with their projects and I love showcasing my own students’ work and creating something new each year that I hope will wow the judges and earn a trip back to the awards night! It is just so great!

What advice would you give to a first-year economics or personal finance teacher?
Find a mentor who has experience and can guide you through the planning of your content and curriculum standards. Take a class or by all means, take an In-service workshop offered free of charge and you will find support and much wonderful pedagogy to help you.

What do you like to do for fun outside of school?
I am a voracious reader and I love to antique shop.

What’s one thing your students may not know about you?
Before I moved to Florida in 1989, I had a little business called Fran’s Fancies. I did specialty baked goods and party desserts which turned a profit and began by word of mouth. I was a Speech Pathologist then.  Before my son was born, I had a lot of creative energy so I used it to pamper my dinner guests and their compliments and encouragement became a little business on the side.