Hinrichs named state economics educator of the year

The Nebraska Council on Economic Education (NCEE) has named Lincoln Southwest High School teacher Josh Hinrichs this year’s Reiser Economics Educator of the Year.

The award recognizes Nebraska teachers and other educators who have made a major impact on the teaching of economics and personal finance.

Hinrichs has taught economics and finance at Southwest since 2008. Prior to that, he worked in the banking industry. In announcing the award, NCEE called Hinrichs “an incredible educator who cares about student success and provides excellence in the classroom.”

Hinrichs said he was humbled to win this award, especially looking back on his journey to this point. When he started at Southwest, he was much more comfortable teaching finance than economics. However, economics turned into his graduate school focus and is now his favorite subject to teach. 

“I never envisioned this path for my career when I started teaching, but wow what a journey,” he said. “Also, I know some of the other educators who have won this award and I hold them in high esteem, so to be recognized with them through this award is an amazing honor.”

NCEE staff members, Southwest and LPS colleagues, friends and one of his current students recently surprised Hinrichs with a celebratory “car parade” by his house when he learned he won the award. There were signs, balloons and plenty of honking and cheering.

“I was completely surprised. It was awesome,” he said. “I have seen other ‘car parades’ for people on social media and in the news and I thought they were pretty cool. I was speechless - which is a rarity for me.”

Hinrichs adds this award to a long list of teaching honors. He’s a three-time winner of the national 100 Best in Teaching Personal Finance Award. He’s also a three-time winner of the W!SE Gold Star Educator in Personal Finance Award, meaning his students achieved a 93 percent pass rate on the national standardized test in personal finance. As a Future Business Leaders of America advisor, he qualified students to the national competition 10 years in a row.

The NCEE award is named for Mary Lynn Reiser, former associate and director of the University of Nebraska at Omaha Center for Economic Education for 29 years. She also served as a board member and president of the National Association of Economic Educators board.

Published: May 5, 2020, Updated: May 5, 2020