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Washington County Educator Thomas Larimer Named Teacher of the Quarter

Thomas Larimer named teacher of the quarter(Richmond, VA, December 6, 2017) – Thomas Larimer, an economics and finance teacher at Patrick Henry High School in Glade Springs, Va., has been named a recipient of Virginia Credit Union’s Teacher of the Quarter recognition program.

The program recognizes K-12 teachers who teach economics and personal finance in Virginia. Thomas is the second teacher from Washington County to receive the recognition. 

In appreciation of his work, Thomas won $250 from Virginia Credit Union. He was nominated by a fellow teacher at the school.

Now in his fifth year at Patrick Henry High School, Thomas teaches Economics and Finance in the Career and Technical Education department at the school. He also teaches a class in IT Fundamentals and leads a co-op program where students work with local businesses to learn aspects of marketing, management and entrepreneurship.

Inside the classroom, Thomas took the innovative approach of creating his own monetary system and currency, which he and the students call “Larimer Bucks.”

“I’ve turned my classroom into its own little economy,” he explains. Students can earn “Larimer Bucks” daily by attending and participating in class. In turn, they must pay for daily and weekly expenses, such as rent for their desks, utility fees to use the Internet, and charges for supplies they get from the classroom store.

“It started as a one-day lesson plan at the beginning of the school year. One of my co-teachers heard what we were doing and suggested that we keep it going all year long. It took off and the students have really responded well to it.”

Nominations for future Teachers of the Quarter may be submitted through a form on the VACU website. Any K-12 teacher in Virginia who teaches the economics and personal finance SOLs in their classroom is eligible. The nomination period for the next Teacher of the Quarter opened on Nov. 6 and will end Jan. 19, 2018.

“We are glad to recognize gifted educators who teach these critical skills,” said Chris Shockley, Virginia Credit Union’s President/CEO. “Financial education is a key priority for us, and it is exciting to hear the innovative ways teachers are sharing these concepts in their classrooms.”

A financial cooperative serving more than 263,000 members, Virginia Credit Union offers a variety of affordable banking services, loans, mortgages, and free financial education resources, with a focus on helping people be more confident with their finances. Virginia Credit Union is an equal housing opportunity lender and is federally insured by NCUA. 

Media Contact: Glenn Birch | glenn.birch@vacu.org | (804) 560-5664