Hillsboro School educator one of three honored by state for pioneering financial education

Lt. Gov. Randy McNally, Speaker Glen Casada, Sen. Jack Johnson, award recipient Cody Hawks, Treasurer David H. Lillard, Jr., and Gov. Bill Lee

FROM: Brentwood Homepage


This week the Tennessee Financial Literacy Commission honored three Tennessee educators for taking the lead in bringing financial education tools to their students.

Kara Campbell, Cody Hawks, and Candiace Dandridge were each presented with the Tennessee Financial Literacy Commission Leadership Award by Treasurer David H. Lillard, Jr. at an event on Tuesday evening. Chris Holmes, a longtime TNFLC board member, was also honored with the Champion of Financial Literacy Award for his work in driving the success of the Commission’s programs since inception.

“Educators play many roles and take on many responsibilities –these individuals and their schools are going above and beyond,” Lillard said. “And they do so because they know that these lessons have real-life application, and they are dedicated to the whole well-being of their students, and their futures. We were pleased to honor these three educators for their commitment to financial literacy in their schools.”

Cody Hawks is a fifth grade teacher at Hillsboro School in Leiper’s Fork. After attending one of the commission’s Saturday Summits in Nashville, Hawks immediately enrolled his class in the Vault – Understanding Money online financial literacy program. In addition to having his class complete the Vault program, Hawks has instituted the My Classroom Economy system in his classroom, which has tied seamlessly with the district’s Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports system.

Kara Campbell implemented the My Classroom Economy program in her second-grade classroom at Jefferson Elementary School in Jefferson City, Tennessee. My Classroom Economy is a behavioral management program designed to instill basic financial responsibility in young students.

Candiace Danridge, a counselor at Berclair Elementary School in Memphis, shared with more than 200 fourth- and fifth-grade students knowledge of how to save and make responsible money choices, taught them about income and careers, credit and borrowing, and even investing through the Vault – Understanding Money program. 

Chris Holmes, president and CEO of FirstBank, served on the TNFLC Board of Directors since inception, a total of eight years. He helped to create the foundation and drive the success of the programs. During his time of service, the Commission trained more than 4,000 educators to teach Financial Fitness for Life and directly reached 25,000 students who have completed the Vault – Understanding Money program.

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