Carrie Settles-Livers, a teacher at Brookwood High School, has been awarded a 41st Annual Leavey Award for Excellence in Private Enterprise Education. This year’s class of Leavey Award winners features 7 free enterprise education programs and their 8 coordinating teachers. Settles-Livers and the other winners were recognized at an award ceremony on the campus of Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge, in Phoenixville,
Pennsylvania. As part of this honor, she received $7,500 in recognition of her work.
The Brookwood High teacher was honored for her creation of “STEMpreneurship with Brookwood Aquaponics,” which combines the teaching of next-generation science standards alongside the free enterprise system. In STEMpreneurship with Brookwood Aquaponics, students are tasked with creating a business idea that incorporates sustainable agriculture. They design logos, web pages, slogans, and learn how to create a startup and sell products— from planters to bug repellants to candles in reused jars and sustainably sourced soaps. In addition, the students craft business plans, “elevator pitches,” procure investment funds, make cold calls, consult market analysis on pricing, and sell online. As in real life, leadership and teamwork are vital to success. The project’s aquaponics lab system is capable of producing three tons of food in its deep water beds, and students give half of their produce away to a local food co-op. Profits from sales of the other half of their crop are donated
The Leavey Awards, administered by the Thomas and Dorothy Leavey Foundation and Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge, were created in 1977 to encourage and thank teachers whose expertise and creativity was leading to innovative ways of teaching students about entrepreneurship and the free enterprise system. In the more than four decades that the two foundations have partnered to find, select and honor educators from around the country, more than 600 teachers— from middle school to college level— have received nearly $4 million in prize money.