Pottsgrove High School teacher Megan DeLena smiles from a podium in Philadelphia before her discussion of applied learning with fellow educators on the other side of the country. Her live give-and-take was transmitted via telepresence from the University of Pennsylvania
POTTSTOWN PA – Years before she landed a job in the Pottsgrove School District, high school educator Megan DeLena worked in management roles in amusement parks, restaurants, hotels, fitness centers and real estate. She knows about catering to customers. She knows what it takes for businesses to succeed. And, thanks to her teaching chops, she knows how to communicate concepts and ideas to others.
The Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania depended on all those qualities and others last Monday through Wednesday (June 17-19, 2013), as it chose DeLena and 21 other professionals to serve as guest speakers for its San Francisco CA-based “Seminar for High School Educators on Business and Financial Responsibility.”
Wharton described the event as an “intensive learning experience designed to help educators deepen their ability to teach financial literacy and business.” It limited admission to only 120 public and private high school teachers, principals, administrators and superintendents from across the country.
The university relied on its telepresence environment – a high-tech conference room filled with large-screen televisions, computer monitors, video cameras, microphones and presentation equipment – to literally project DeLena from Philadelphia into a similarly outfitted auditorium on the West Coast, where seminar participants were gathered. In two separate sessions, she and another presenter offered overviews on applied learning.
Falcon ears may have been burning at the time. DeLena’s live, uninterrupted and delay-free give-and-take with the San Francisco contingent was based on a personal finance lesson plan for students she had earlier prepared and taught at Pottsgrove High.
DeLena, who started at Pottsgrove during 2005 and who also taught at Pottstown High – where in 2004 she was its Teacher of the Year – has worked as a consultant to Wharton during the past three years to help establish a high school outreach portion of its “Knowledge@Wharton” website. The free site has thousands of users, and offers teachers worldwide more than 400 business lesson plans that cover 10 different subjects.
So far during her tenure at Pottsgrove, DeLena has helped guide the success of its award-winning DECA marketing club; was among those who worked to attract the Pottstown-based TriCounty Area Federal Credit Union to open a branch office at the high school; and most recently began offering a high school entrepreneurship course. Members of the district Board of School Directors heard about it, and from its students, at their May 14 (2013) meeting.
DeLena earned her bachelor’s degree from Princeton University, and her master’s in marketing education from Temple.
Photos from Jerry DeLena (top) and the Wharton School of Business