WALKER -- Students at Walker High School are getting important lessons on how to better manage money thanks to a popular new course elective that's being taught on campus by one of the world’s most renowned personal finance experts.

The course, Foundations in Personal Finance, is the creation of well-known financial consultant Dave Ramsey, who developed an easy-to-use, turnkey school curriculum that teaches students the value of saving, spending and giving them guidance down the path of financial literacy.

Ramsey delivers the course lectures, which are designed for high school students, through a series of videos, printed lessons and activities.

“Knowing how to manage money is a lifelong skill that every person should know,” said Walker High Principal Jason St. Pierre. “We believe that having a healthy understanding of money better prepares our students to make smart financial decisions in life.”

St. Pierre said the course is available at Walker High School as an elective for all students, regardless of what diploma path they are pursuing.

He noted that Foundations in Personal Finance meets standards and benchmarks in Louisiana, as well as all national standards for financial literacy. The course is organized as a 12-chapter interactive curriculum that includes video lessons taught by Ramsey and his team of experts, more than 100 activities, a blended learning site and a computerized test bank. Course material is available in traditional print and digital formats.

The 12 chapters are broken into three discussion units: Unit one covers the introduction to personal financing, savings and budgeting; unit two covers credit and debit; and unit three reviews financial planning and insurance.

“This course goes beyond the math of personal finance and teaches students the practical and ethical applications of managing money — the real life do’s and don’t’s that can help to make them successful and live life to the fullest,” St. Pierre said.

Students have already learned much in a short time. 

“I was just placed in this class, but it has helped me in taking baby steps on how to save money since I am not going to college,” said Walker High senior Jordan Devall.

“I just wanted to know how to save money," said classmate Kevin Enamorado. “I signed up for this class because my mom wanted me to take out student loans for college and I wanted to be responsible about it.”

The course is managed by Walker High teacher Monica Ragusa, who helps students learn important money management techniques, such as how to save for their future, how to create a budget and how to avoid accumulating student loan debt.

“Debt is so rampant in our society; and once a person is in debt, it's so hard to get out,” Ragusa said. “That's why a course like this is so important. We can help our students get off on the right foot, learn how to budget and have their money work for them.”

St. Pierre said the Foundations in Personal Finance elective was made possible through a donation from local members of the Livingston Parish Chamber of Commerce.

“We are so appreciative of our local business community and its support of our students,” he said. “These strong partnerships are helping us prepare our students for the real world.”

According to the Dave Ramsey Foundations in Personal Finance website, the curriculum has been taught to more than three million students in middle schools, high schools and universities nationwide.

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