Debbie Drommerhausen has been an educator in Stillwater Area Public Schools since 1973. A teacher of Marketing, she began complementing her curriculum with BestPrep programs in 2005 at Stillwater Area High School. Debbie has utilized the Classroom Plus program, bringing business professionals to speak with her students, as well as the Financial Matters program, which helps students gain essential money management skills. Debbie also introduced The Stock Market Game (SMG) to her students in 2009 to give them a hands-on learning experience in business and financial literacy.
Though Debbie’s history with BestPrep is impressive in multiple capacities, she is perhaps most notable for her success with SMG. Using this program for the past eight years, Debbie has helped her business and marketing students gain a deeper understanding of the U.S. economy and long-term saving strategies while developing their critical and analytical thinking skills.
When reflecting on the impact of SMG in education, Debbie commented, “Many students have gone on to higher education and majored in Finance or Economics – it gives them an idea of what encompasses some of these jobs.” In recognition of Debbie’s remarkable involvement, she received a Teacher of Excellence Award at the 2013 BestPrep Annual Luncheon.
Debbie’s success is apparent in her students’ portfolio performance. Her student teams consistently rank among the top in the state for portfolio values and she most recently had a fifth-place team in the 2017 Fall Session. We recently had the opportunity to interview Debbie and gain insight into her experiences with The Stock Market Game.
Q: What value does The Stock Market Game bring to your students?
A: The value of the SMG to the classroom is “priceless” as they say. Students and parents love the game and the research that is involved with the companies.
Q: How do you take what is a seemingly difficult topic for most Americans to understand and make it easy for high school students to understand?
A: Students love to buy items. Letting them know that some of those companies are stock-held companies is a great tool to start the conversation about stocks. A book was written lately about “Buy What You Know.” I have been telling students to start by researching some of the brands that they are wearing now. They laugh but it gets them to start thinking about companies and a little Branding in Marketing.
Q: How does The Stock Market Game connect what you teach in the classroom to a real-life experience a student may have?
A: The Stock Market Game is teaching students about businesses and the simple concept of supply and demand. I teach high school students and they are starting to think about money and how to invest for their future. Retirement is always a topic that many students haven’t even thought about, much less talked about.
Q: Why would you recommend other teachers and schools use The Stock Market Game with their students?
A: I like having real-life activities for students to engage in. I use this game as a group activity and it makes them talk about business with each other.
Q: What’s one piece of advice you would give to a new teacher just starting with SMG?
A: My advice would be to have fun. As I tell my students, it is always a learning process!
Q: What do your students most enjoy about participating in SMG?
A: Students love looking at companies and finding out prices and who owns the company. They understand the Dow Jones Index better as well! Many students have started real accounts at the end of the game.
Q: What resources provided by BestPrep and/or SIFMA do you use to help facilitate the SMG in your class?
A: I use some of the worksheets and the information from the communications that BestPrep sends to classroom teachers. As they say, “knowledge is power”!
Thank you, Debbie, for your impressive work and commitment in helping to prepare students with the skills needed for future success in business, personal finance, and life after graduation! If you’re interested in becoming involved in The Stock Market Game, learn more here. Registration for the Late Spring session is now open!