IBAT recognizes SHS teacher

The Independent Bankers Association of Texas (IBAT) recently presented Sweetwater High School teacher Skylar Houston with its Teaching Excellence in Financial Literacy Award. Houston is one of three award recipients from across the state. He was presented the award on Thursday at Sweetwater High School’s regular monthly faculty meeting. The Teaching Excellence in Financial Literacy Award program is hosted by the IBAT Education Foundation. The program seeks to recognize teachers from local schools who are teaching financial education in innovative ways. Previous award winners are helping to create the curriculum for the IBAT Educator Preparation Program with the ultimate goal of giving students the foundation necessary to make sound financial decisions for the duration of their lives. The award program is now in its fourth year. “Skylar Houston personifies what we look for in a recipient of this award,” Chris Williston, IBAT president and chief executive officer, said. “He truly has a passion for teaching financial education and his students respond. His goal is to set young adults on a path to financial success, and that is exactly what he does.” As the main component of his financial education curriculum, Houston teaches students about personal finance through personal experiences, interactive research and guest speakers. He ensures that when his students leave his classroom they are knowledgeable about personal investments, how to plan their financial future and understand the value of credit. He often uses examples from his own life when teaching a concept. Houston teaches government and economics to seniors and has been with Sweetwater High School for four years. He was nominated by Mike Fernandez, Vice President of Texas National Bank. Houston received a cash award as part of his recognition. Members of the Foundation Board served as judges for the competition. Formed in 1974, the Independent Bankers Association of Texas (IBAT) represents Texas community banks. The Austin-based group is the largest state community banking organization in the nation, with membership comprised of more than 2,000 banks and branches in 700 Texas communities. Providing safe and responsible financial services to all Texans, IBAT member bank assets range in size from $10 million to $20 billion with combined assets statewide of nearly $165 billion. IBAT member banks are committed to supporting and investing in their local communities.