ST. GEORGE — Ask the staff at Pine View High School, and they’ll tell you Tracy Anderson deserved every bit of the $1,550 her financial literacy class was awarded by Mountain America’s grant program.

She recently received the funds in front of students in the form of a giant check, presented by her peers and Mountain America Public Relations Manager Spencer Carver.

“I was hopeful about getting the grant,” Anderson said. “I had visited with Spencer from Mountain America up at the Jumpstart summit and he mentioned that I should apply. I was hopeful but I wasn’t sure because there were a lot of applicants.”

On choosing Anderson for the grant, Carver said, “We absolutely love the work that the teachers do. When we first started this program we saw the need and saw the impact that the dollars can do. That is especially true for financial literacy.”

From the financial secretary all the way up to the principal, Anderson’s peers said she is well-respected for her ability to connect to the students and for her genuine desire to help anyone she can.

Tracy Anderson holds her giant check after being awarded a grant at Pine View High School in St. George, Utah, Dec. 7, 2023 | Photo by Bridger Palmer, St. George News

“She works really well with the kids. Knows them all by name,” said Ryan Christiansen, assistant principal at Pine View High School. “She takes the mornings and lunches and after school to work with them. She really goes out of her way to help them be successful.”

Added financial secretary Jenny Gifford: “She’s always so happy and bubbly and super nice and goes out of her way to gauge how others are feeling. You can tell she cares about everyone.” 

Perhaps this is why Anderson was able to secure the grant with relative ease.

“This is my fifth year teaching financial literacy but it’s the first time applying for the grant,”  Anderson said.

The grant award program has been occurring annually for several years now.

“It started in 2016 and we’ve awarded over $70,000 total. Each year we award roughly 10 candidates,” Carver said. “Seeing how the teachers leverage the funds to benefit the students and improve the overall student experience is incredible.”

And Anderson sees the financial reward as a means to a positive end product.

“I am so excited because it just gives that much more for my students to be successful,”  Anderson said.

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