MCC Center for Economic Education Names 2012 Teacher of the Year

The Mesa Community College Center for Economic Education named Michelle Barton the 2012 Middle School Teacher of the Year. Michelle is a graduate of Arizona State University and has taught pre-algebra, algebra and geometry at Ward Traditional Academy in the Tempe Elementary School District since 2009.

Michelle is recognized for integrating the standards based Stock Market Game into her math curriculum and sponsoring the Economics Club at Ward.  She is one of a small number of math instructors who has attended training at the Center for Economic Education and is using this programming to address the emergence of common core requirements in the middle school curriculum. 

Beyond her creativity in applying a social studies based activity to mathematics instruction, she models collaboration and community building though her work with language arts and social studies colleagues.

"Integrating economics into my curriculum has allowed me to bring math to life. Students always used to ask me, "When will I ever use this?" Introducing concepts like slope, graphing, and linear equations using the Stock Market Game allowed me to show students a real life application before they even thought to ask“, explained Michelle.

The outcomes of Michelle’s mentoring are reflected in the results of the Fall 2012 Arizona Stock Market Game - Ward student teams captured first and second place in the elementary division and swept first, second and third places in the middle school division. The first place elementary team and first and second middle school teams were all female teams. 

The Center for Economic Education at MCC supports innovation in economics instruction across the curriculum and across grade levels in Arizona.  

John Balentine, Director of K-12 Social Studies at the Arizona Department of Education stated, “Today’s employers are seeking graduates that have key skills of critical thinking, problem-solving and collaboration. Arizona’s teachers and students are fortunate to have a cross-curricular resource. The Stock Market Game, hosted by the Arizona Council on Economic Education, develops these skills and helps ensure all of our students are prepared for college, career and civic life.”

About Mesa Community College

Mesa Community College provides outstanding transfer and career and technical programs, workforce development, and life-long learning opportunities to residents of the East Valley area of Phoenix, Arizona. MCC excels in teaching, learning and empowering its more than 40,000 students to succeed in a local and global community.  Mesa Community College is one of ten colleges that comprise the Maricopa County Community College District.

Please direct media inquiries to Angela Askey at or Sally Mesarosh at  or the Office of Institutional Advancement at 480-461-7445.  IA website:


Source Details

Publication Date: 
Monday, December 17, 2012