On Sept. 10, a crowd of almost 300 showed up at the annual Brazoria County Business Hall of Fame to honor local greats. The recognition began with State Representative Dennis Bonnen as the evening’s Master of Ceremonies. First up were the Albert P. Beutel, II & Buster Curry scholarships. These $500 – $1,000 scholarships were presented to area high school seniors. Shalini Lakshmi from Alvin High School and Paola Obispo for Manvel High School were among the recipients.
Individual awards were then presented. Leah Bolton, a Career & Technology teacher at Manvel High School received the Outstanding Teacher of the Year award.
“I was very surprised and honored when I received the notice back in July that I had been selected as the Junior Achievement Teacher of the Year for Brazoria County for the 2014/2015 school year,” Bolton said.
The Brazoria County Business Hall of Fame is sponsored by the Junior Achievement organization. Junior Achievement is a non-profit organization that promotes the education of free enterprise, business and economics, entrepreneurship and financial literacy through their grade level curriculum programs. JA volunteers from the business sector and the community present the lessons to the students. Junior Achievement has been in Brazoria County for over 50 years.
“I had utilized Junior Achievement curriculum over the past few years in my Career Preparation classes. I had invited JA volunteers into my classes and had also taught the programs on Business Ethics and Financial Literacy. Last year the counselor and principal from E.C. Mason also approached me and asked if I would allow my Ready, Set, Teach students to come in and teach Junior Achievement lessons to the elementary students. My students were able to present lessons to the second grade classes last fall and to the third grade classes last spring. My Ready, Set, Teach students were able to preview the lesson materials in my class and prepare to present them at E.C. Mason. The elementary students and teachers enjoyed the program on financial literacy and my students enjoyed teaching the lessons,” Bolton said. “It was a great experience all around! I believe that I was selected for Teacher of the Year due to the fact that I had already implemented the Junior Achievement programs into my Career Prep classes and then was able to bring the Junior Achievement lessons to the elementary school through my Ready, Set, Teach class. It was a great honor to be recognized and I am glad that I have been able to incorporate the Junior Achievement programs into my classes.”