Bridge Creek Elementary School’s Stephen Bidwell is the South Carolina Financial Literacy Master Teacher Program’s Educator of the Month for December. The program is a statewide initiative of the South Carolina Treasurer’s Office designed to increase the number of teachers incorporating personal finance education into their classrooms.
Bidwell teaches students how wealth grows, to understand the stock market and to take personal finances seriously at an early age to avoid financial problems as they become adults. He regularly has award-winning teams in the South Carolina Stock Market Game. He also coaches teachers on how to use the contest in their classrooms.
“Our primary education system is doing an excellent job helping students go to college and earn advanced degrees, but a lack of financial education is leading many to fall deep into debt trying to earn those degrees,” Bidwell explained. “We must do more to help young people understand how to manage their money once they earn it and focus on the importance of saving to avoid painful decisions that result from a lack of planning for the future. Whether it’s saving for an emergency, their college education or their eventual retirement, we must reinforce these skills.”
Kristen Eubanks, principal of Bridge Creek Elementary says, “Mr. Bidwell is very passionate about teaching our elementary students the importance of Economics. With his leadership, MED at Bridge Creek produces award-winning stock market teams year after year. Our students leave his classroom understanding the importance of making wise investments.”
In April 2017, Bidwell was named the Future Scholar Financial Literacy Program’s Teacher of the Month; 2019 Outstanding Teacher Service Award winner by SC Economics and in 2020, he qualified for the South Carolina Financial Literacy Master Teacher Program. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Paper Science and Engineering from North Carolina State University.
Bridge Creek is a magnet school in Elgin, SC, that focuses on preparing students for careers in Medical, Engineering and the Arts.