PBEA Newsletter

Winter 2018

President's Message

By: Marianne Wimer

Welcome to 2018, Business Educators!

It is my sincere wish that you are heading into the new year with a renewed sense of purpose and enthusiasm.

Our 2017 annual conference, held at the Harrisburg-Hershey Holiday Inn in Grantville, PA focused on strategies to bring fresh, new perspectives into our classrooms and make sure that it was Not Just Business as Usual.

We kicked off Thursday night learning about an unconventional approach to making economics education come alive for our students by incorporating songs from the musical Hamilton, as presented by Dr. Matt Rousu, Interim Dean of the Sigmund Weis School of Business, Susquehanna University. We also learned about the new Center for Economics, Business, and Entrepreneurship Education and the opportunities available there for PA BCITE teachers, from Dr. Emma Fleck, Director for the Center for Economics, Business, and Entrepreneurship, Susquehanna University. Thursday night also included a networking event down the road at the Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course. We were delighted to host Dr. Fleck and Dr. Rousu, who also returned Friday to lead several other sessions, including focus groups where you, Pennsylvania Business Educators, were able to share input on your interests and needs as well as suggestions for future professional development with the Center for Economics, Business, and Entrepreneurship.

In addition to Thursday’s exciting events, we hosted 12 additional professional development sessions on Friday, including sessions on offering business courses to our secondary students for college credit, partnering with local businesses and financial institutions to bring hands-on, real-world business learning and opportunities into our schools and classrooms, as well as how to incorporate some of the newest and most exciting computer apps and web-based apps into our classes. We also heard directly from our PDE liaison, Mindy Fredin-Mansfiled, who updated us on the latest pertinent issues and news from the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

Our Friday afternoon luncheon provided with us with an opportunity to network, enjoy the scholarship auction, and recognize several individuals, including our 2017 PBEA Scholarship recipient, Hannah M. Schmeck, our 2017 PBEA Educator of the Year, Rob Donatelli, and of course our new Past-President, Valerie Specht.

I feel blessed and honored to have worked so closely with Valerie over the last few years on the PBEA Board; her mentorship and leadership are something I am beyond thankful for. I am grateful not only for Valerie, but for the entire PBEA Board, who helped make the 2017 Conference Not Just Business as Usual.

The PBEA Board is pleased to welcome the following new members:

Christina Force, our former Region 2 Director – Vice President

Rob Donatelli, our 2017 Educator of the Year - Media Chair

Rachel Brensinger - our new volunteer for Region 3 Director

Lisa Smith - our new Conference Registration Chair

Please take a moment to review their biographies below and read our Newsletter.

The PBEA Board is constantly changing and evolving, as we discover new leadership positions, new partnerships, new opportunities to serve business educators in PA. And we have so many opportunities where YOU can help! Contact a board member today about all the different ways you can be involved. You can also find information about the board, including current members and vacancies, directly on our website, at http://pbea.info

If you have ideas, event information, articles or other useful items you’d like to share or contribute to the Newsletter, please reach out to a board member.


2018 PBEA Conference
November 15-16, 2018
Holiday Inn, Grantville


If you would like to exhibit your wares at the conference, please email Kristin at ksnyder@southerntioga.org.

Membership Update  . . . Spread the Word!  

By: Siri Sammartino, PBEA Membership Chairperson

In August membership renewals and inactive members received an email with a direct link to our website membership renewal link. Included in the email was an attachment asking to share a flyer with colleagues. If you know anyone in your department that is not a current member, please encourage them to visit our site at: wwww.pbea.info. Our membership remains the same, $35 for one year or $90 for three years. Payments can also be sent to PBEA · PO Box 15 · Newtown, PA 18940 or electronically by going to the website “www.pbea.info”.

If you know anyone in your department who is not a current member, please encourage them to visit our site at pbea.info. Included at the site are some of the many BENEFITS OF PBEA MEMBERSHIP such as:

· Annual professional development conference discount

· PBEA newsletters

· PBEA legislative committee that works for BCIT teachers on statewide issues

· Educator of the Year Award

· Scholarships for future BCIT teachers

· Computer /software support group

· Website:

· Education Ideas link

· PBEA blog for discussions of curriculum and sharing information

· Job Postings

· Helpful Links

· Network for sharing with other BCIT educators


“Formal education will make you a living; self education will make you a fortune.” – Jim Rohn


The Center for Economics, Business, and Entrepreneurship Education: Providing Innovative Pedagogical Techniques to Teach Business

Dr. Emma Fleck, Director for the Center for Economics, Business, and Entrepreneurship, Susquehanna University.

Using Hamilton the Musical to Teach Economics

Dr. Matt Rousu, Interim Dean of the Sigmund Weis School of Business, Susquehanna University

Dr. Fleck reviewed the mission of the new Center for Economics, Business, and Entrepreneurship Education at Susquehanna University. This exciting new resource exists to provide easy, affordable access to continuing education and professional development for BCIT teachers. Dr. Fleck stated that the center is seeking input from educators to help make programs more relevant and accessible.

Dr. Rousu led a highly engaging session on incorporating songs from the exceptionally popular musical Hamilton to help connect students to concepts of Economics and bring the content to life in an unconventional manner in the classroom. You can find out more about this highly-engaging strategy from his website, which contains a compilation of Broadway songs and their subsequent connection to economic concepts: http://broadwayeconomics.com

Teaching Financial Literacy by Engaging Students with Music, Video, TV, and Movie Clips

Dr. Matt Rousu, Interim Dean of the Sigmund Weis School of Business, Susquehanna University

Dr. Rousu shared a variety of movie, television, and music clips from a variety of sources (Big Bang Theory, Hamilton the Musical etc.) and connected those clips to content in Financial Literacy and Economics. You can learn more about these strategies at https://www.susqu.edu/academics/academic-resources/centers-and-lectureships/center-for-economics-business-and-entrepreneurship-education

Bringing Home the Bank: Partnering Your High School with Local Credit Unions/Banking Institutions – Reality Fairs and In-School, Student-run Credit Unions

Tina Cup, Loan Officer, Financial 1st Federal Credit Union

Ms. Cupp spoke about bringing a Reality Fair experience to your school. A Reality Fair is an opportunity for students to get hands-on experience managing income and expenses by interacting with a variety of employees and volunteers from credit unions in your local area. It is fully organized, set up, staffed, and sponsored by members of the Pennsylvania Credit Union Foundation. During the fair, students are assigned an income and student loans based on a profession of their choosing. They are also assigned a credit score, pre-existing credit card debt, and then must work their way through a variety of stations and make decisions about major expenses like housing, transportation, insurance, food, and utilities as well as cell phones and night-life. After navigating through the stations, students sit with a Financial Counselor who helps them reconcile their budgets to determine if they’re living within their means…and if they’re not, what they need to do to survive: Cut back on expenses? Take on a second job? Move back home with parents? For more information on Reality Fairs, check out https://www.ncuf.coop/how-we-help/fairs-simulations/reality-fairs/reality-fairs.cmsx

Pennsylvania Free Enterprise Week (PFEW) – A week-long intensive summer entrepreneurship experience for your students

Michele Warofka, VP of Educational Relations
Pennsylvania Free Enterprise Week (PFEW); Foundation for Free Enterprise

Paul Vizza, PFEW Program Manager, and Amber Goss, PFEW Schools Manager, addressed teachers about this exciting summer entrepreneurship immersion experience for high school students hosted over 5 weekly sessions at Pennsylvania College of Technology and Lycoming College in Williamsport, PA. PFEW brings students from across the state of PA together to take over a failing business in a simulation where students compete to be the Top Company. With the guidance of Company Advisors (business leaders from all walks of business and industry) students learn the ins-and-out of marketing and advertising, creating and interpreting financial statements, and developing a profitable business model and striving to increase the RONA of their virtual businesses in the BizSim app. For more information on PFEW, check out https://www.pfew.org

Building an Entrepreneurship Class for College Credit

Rob Donatelli, Dallastown Area High School

Mr. Donatelli spoke at length to a well-attended session on the exciting opportunity to teach a class on Entrepreneurship to junior and senior level high school students for college credit through the BizInnovator. For more information about this opportunity, check out https://www.bizinnovator.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=app.teacherEducation

Information Session and Focus Group #1: The Center for Economics, Business, and Entrepreneurship Education: Providing Innovative Pedagogical Techniques to Teach Business Dr. Emma Fleck, Director for the Center for Economics, Business, and Entrepreneurship, Susquehanna University.

Dr. Fleck led two focus group and information sessions, where she solicited input from educators regarding their interests and needs to determine how The Center for Economics, Business, and Entrepreneurship Education at Susquehanna University could best serve educators. The center offers a variety of free professional development and continuing education workshops for K-12 business educators: https://www.susqu.edu/academics/academic-resources/centers-and-lectureships/center-for-economics-business-and-entrepreneurship-education

Financial Literacy for Today's Business Education Students Todd Zartman, Economic Education Specialist, The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia

Mr. Zartman, of The Philadelphia Federal Reserve, led a workshop focusing on Financial Literacy; he also provided a variety of free materials and resources for teachers to use in the classroom. Educators were also shown how to access a variety of additional free materials and resources online through the Federal Reserve. Attendees participated in an activity which they could duplicate in the classroom.

Help Your Students Get to College without Tens of Thousands of Dollars in Student Loan Debt

Kevin Bukatman, College Planning Service America, LLC

In a well-attended session, Mr. Bukatman shared strategies and tips for helping college-bound students avoid student loan debt. This included tips on maximizing financial aid as well as finding scholarship opportunities. Attendees reported the session was exciting and eye-opening and several teachers booked workshops for their classes/schools. For more information or to schedule a workshop for your school: http://cpsamerica.net

Partnering Small Business with your High School

Karl Fisher, Alabaster Coffee

Entrepreneur and coffee aficionado Karl Fisher of Alabaster Coffee Roaster & Tea Company spoke about his fascinating entrepreneurship story as well as how he partnered with a local high school to create an in-school, student-run franchise. Through the franchise, Mr. Fisher partnered with business classes and clubs, as well as the school-to-work program to develop not only a small school-based business but also to provide on-the-job training and work experience for student employees. Mr. Fisher gave advice and suggestions on what schools can do to create similar partnerships with small-business within their local communities as well as discussed the struggles and lessons learned from the endeavor.

Business Classroom Environment and Student Motivation!

Timothy J. Dershem, Business Educator, Greenwood School District

In perhaps our best-attended session, Mr. Dershem presented GAME—ON!, a situational LIFE thought process that can be used to help motivate individuals and teams to help establish and maintain a great attitude towards all things that come our way in LIFE! Personal, Career, Church, Workplace, Relationships, Finances, Athletics, and much more. Educators left energized and enthusiastic about the session with tools and strategies to take back to their classrooms to engage and motivate their students.

Incorporating Screencasting & EdPuzzle for Online Learning

Heather Pipech, Loyalsock Township School District

Ms. Pipech presented another well-attended technology session focusing on Screencasting and EdPuzzle, tools which K-12 BCIT educators can use to create innovative online learning environments and experiences. Screencasting allows you to record and edit videos of your computer screen as well as include an audio track. EdPuzzle is a free web-based app which enables you to create interactive online lessons for your students, incorporating video content (your own original content as well as videos from YouTube, Khan Academy and other resources). Teachers can track your student engagement and build assessments right into the online lesson. Check out https://edpuzzle.com

PDE Update – Get up-to-date on what is going on in the world of BCITE through the lens of PDE

Mindy Freidin-Mansfield, MBA, Department of Education: Bureau of Career and Technical Education

PBEA PDE liaison Mindy Freidin-Mansfield discussed new developments applicable to business teachers and curriculum through the lens of the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Topics discussed included recent legislation and its impact on BCITE.

Collaborative and Active Economics for Today's Business Education Students
Todd Zartman, Economic Education Specialist, The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia

Mr. Zartman of The Philadelphia Federal Reserve, spoke about K-12 economic literacy. Mr. Zartman had a variety of free resources and materials on-hand for attendees. Educators were also shown how to access a variety of additional free K-12 materials and resources online through the Federal Reserve. Attendees participated in an activity which they could duplicate in the classroom.

For the latest updates and information on what’s going on with PBEA, check out our website at http://pbea.info and like/follow us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PABusinessEd/

Don’t forget to save the date for the 2018 PBEA Conference: Why? BCIT is for ME!

November 15 – November 16, 2018 at the Holiday Inn, in Grantville.


Hannah M. Schmeck, is a senior Business Education major at Bloomsburg University. She loves business education, so much so that she was chosen to be President of Pi Omega Pi Alpha Delta chapter, the National Business Education Honors Society. Hannah is thrilled with the opportunity to teach future students the importance of business and hopes to inspire the next generation of CEOs and successful business men and women. Other hobbies of Hannah’s include improve theatre, concert committee, guitar, singing, and doing random acts of kindness!

Hanna is pictured with Christina Force


Rob Donatelli is a business & computer science teacher at Dallastown Area High School in York, PA. He is also the founder of the Donatelli EdZone. His education includes a Bachelor’s degree in Management & Marketing from York College of PA and Master’s degree in Business Education from Robert Morris University. Rob’s passions include school leadership, education technology, presenting, entrepreneurship, and coaching! Follow and connect with him on YouTube at Donatelli EdZone or on Twitter @DTown_MrD.

Rob is pictured with Renee Hughes



Please click on the link below to see the full size flyer and details for registration.



Please click on the link below to see the brochure and registration information.


Region 1 Update

By: Carol Jo Reitz, Region 1 Director

We are trying to build membership in PBEA and encouraging all members to invite colleagues to join. Please consider inviting your neighboring school and informing them of the many benefits available as a PBEA member. Membership is $35 for one year ($90 for three years). Payments can be sent to PBEA · PO Box 15 · Newtown, PA 18940 or by going to the website “www.pbea.info”. All memberships are renewed in the summer, so watch for your reminder.

Region 2 Update

By: Christina Force, Region 2 Director

Region 2

We are looking forward to our Region 2 event--Spring 2018 Teacher Seminar hosted by Bloomsburg University and sponsored by PBEA. It will be held on March 23, 2018 at Monty’s on Bloomsburg University’s upper campus. This year’s focus is classroom innovation. There will be three sessions led by Matthew Rousu, Dean and Professor of Economics in the Sigmund Weis School of Business at Susquehanna University; Rob Donatelli, a business and computer science teacher at Dallastown Area High School and Nathaniel Turcotte and Robert Hein, Penn State University Ph.D. candidates. Please bring a laptop or tablet as these sessions will be interactive. The cost is $35.00 which includes lunch and a continental breakfast provided by PBEA. You will also receive six Act 48 hours. If you need to register or would like a brochure sent to you contact Jacqueline Dobrovodsky at jdobrovods@bloomu.edu The sessions descriptions are provided below.

9:00 a.m.—10:00 a.m.

Matthew Rousu—Using TV,Movies, and experiments to make your economics class more interactive

Economics is often considered dull – but it shouldn’t be. Relating economic concepts to TV, music, and movies can help engage students and improve their learning. In this presentation, you will learn how to use TV, movie, and music clips to teach concepts like supply and demand, production costs, elasticities, and even the properties of communism vs. capitalism. You will also learn where to find hundreds of pre-prepared clips to use in your classrooms.

10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

Robert Donatelli—Spicing Up Class Discussions with Twitter

Looking for a way to spice up those class discussions? Look no further than one of the most popular social media tools "Twitter!" In this session, you will learn about the value of a Twitter chat, how to participate in one, and how to set-up and conduct one for your students. Free lesson plan and activity!

11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Nathaniel Turcotte & Robert Hein—Learning Through Gaming: Strategies for Adopting Games-Based Lessons into the Classroom

Video gaming is both a prominent participatory activity, and an integral part of popular culture. Over the past few years, our research team has sought to uncover the educational benefits of playing highly attractive commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) video games. In our presentation, we will highlight these benefits, as well as discuss strategies for adopting COTS games-based lessons into your own classroom.

12:30 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.


1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Work Session

Congratulations to Region 2 member and Bloomsburg University Business Education student, Hannah Schmeck for winning the PBEA scholarship.

The second annual Bloomsburg University Husky Dog Pound competition will be held on April 26, 2018. Prizes again are $10,000 for the top 30 teams and teachers. To register go to bloomu.edu/entrepreneurship


By: Rachel Brensinger, Region 3 Director

Rachel Brensinger recently joined the PBEA Board as the Region 3 Director. Some remember Rachel as their sales representative with Cengage Learning. She was a representative with Cengage for 26 years until she retired. After she retired, she missed working with vocational instructors so she presently works part time as needed with a few companies bringing state-of-the art educational resources and technologies into their classroom.

Prior to working in the publishing industry, Rachel taught Business Education and was an FBLA advisor at James Wood High School in Winchester, VA for 7 years. She has a Master's in Higher Education from James Madison University and a BS Degree in Business Education from Shippensburg University.

She has received numerous Service awards from Business Education Associations----

Friend in Business Education from Pennsylvania Business Education Association in 1994

Distinguished Service Award from Maryland Business Education Association in 1997

Region 4 Update

By: Michele Sites, Region 4 Director

I have shared information with Region 4 members via email on an on-going basis. I have also continued to represent the region at PBEA Board meetings. I am still working to offer a professional development activity for the region. I contacted a second postsecondary school about partnering with PBEA. We were not able to work out the details in time to offer an activity before the end of this school year. If you have suggested topics or other ideas for professional development, please contact me at msites1@verizon.net

Help make our organization stronger. Membership in Region 4 is low. Please encourage other BCIT teachers to join PBEA. Current members should watch for renewal notices this summer. Also watch for details on the annual conference.

Big image