BEMIDJI -- Schoolcraft Learning Community teacher Chris Hoffman was one of three selected for the 2021 Educator of the Year award by the Minnesota Council on Economic Education.

The award recognizes outstanding achievements and innovation by teachers in economics and personal finance education.

“Every day, there are teachers around the state who bring economics and personal finance to life for their students. Their lessons engage students and help them to apply learning to their daily lives,” a release said.

Being the K-5 award recipient, Hoffman has taught combined fourth- and fifth-grade economics at Schoolcraft, a charter school north of Bemidji, since 2017. He uses activity-based lessons that allow students to “take on more responsibility than usual, treat them as working adults, and give them the chance to make decisions” as they relate to economic concepts.

Hoffman received a bachelor's degree in Elementary Education and a master’s in Special Education from Bemidji State University, after which he served as assistant director and director in student affairs before starting at Schoolcraft.

Newsletter signup for email alerts

He was born and raised in Bemidji and now enjoys hunting, fishing and camping with his wife of more than 10 years and their two children.

As a recipient, Hoffman highlights MCEE’s recognition of teachers who use innovative, culturally responsive and creative teaching principles. The recipients are also recognized for their dedication and enthusiasm for improving economic understanding among students both in and out of the classroom.

Each honoree -- K-5, 6-8 and 9-12 educators -- receives $500 and a plaque.

The Minnesota Council on Economic Education has presented these awards for over 20 years, the criteria for which may shift over time to reflect the unique challenges and expectations for teacher outcomes and best practices in each school year.