190210_FINANCE

Milton High School was one of 887 schools nationwide that was designated as ‘gold standard’ for personal finance education by a nonprofit group.

MILTON

Some of the best police officers were once pizza delivery drivers.

Delivery drivers use some of the same skills police officers do, including interacting with irritable people, solving problems on the spot and driving responsibly, Jerry Schuetz told students in a financial literacy class Friday.

Schuetz, director of administrative operations for the Milton School District, and Milton High School Principal Jeremy Bilhorn were teaching students how to successfully complete a job interview.

Milton High School is one of 887 schools nationwide to be designated by nonprofit Next Gen Personal Finance as a “gold standard” school for personal finance education.

Janesville Parker and Craig high schools, Evansville High School, Beloit Memorial High School, Beloit Turner High School and Clinton High School also received the designation.

The schools were among 126 in the state to be recognized.

Why should students care about pizza and police?

It is important in a job interview to connect your experiences to the potential job, Schuetz said.

Schuetz and Bilhorn spent the class period offering interview tips, teaching students how to give a proper handshake, explaining how to dress professionally and demonstrating why students should treat each person they meet with respect.

Bilhorn has conducted more than 300 interviews since he became a principal. Schuetz hired police officers in his former job as Milton police chief. They are well-versed in what to do and what not to do in an interview.

Nick Manogue, a financial literacy teacher, brings in more than 20 speakers each semester to lead discussion on topics including taxes, insurance, end-of-life expenses, investments, budgeting and other real-world skills students will need after graduation.

The effort started a few years ago, Bilhorn said.

He and his staff sensed there was something missing from the high school curriculum.

Students were leaving high school without knowing important life skills, such as how to create a budget or how to choose car insurance, he said.

Many students headed off to college without any idea of how much their educations would cost in the long run, which was most concerning, Bilhorn said.

So staff created a curriculum for a financial literacy class that touches on nearly every aspect of personal finance and success in the job market, Bilhorn said.

Over the last three years, every high school junior has been required to take the course. Manogue said almost every parent at teacher conferences has told him they wished they had the course when they were in school.

Long term, the course will benefit the community, Bilhorn said.

About half of Milton High School students will stay in Milton, he said.

Students will enter the community knowing how to prevent financial crises and avoid the struggles associated with financial hardship, he said.

The hope is that they will make informed decisions that will influence the course of their lives.

Reporter - Milton, Edgerton, Albany, Brodhead, Evansville, Footville, Orfordville, health

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