Praise a teacher for her creativity, novel teaching techniques and warm, engaging personality, and "art teacher" comes to mind. Economics teacher — not so much. And yet it was an economics teacher from Cabot who was recently recognized for precisely those qualities.

Jan Loyd from Cabot Junior High School South was officially designated a Master Economics Teacher (MET) during the Cabot Public School Board meeting Jan. 23. The designation was presented to her by Economics Arkansas, a non-profit educational organization that trains K-12 educators how to integrate economic and personal finance concepts into the classroom curriculum.

As an MET, Loyd will be able to serve as a "resource extender" to Economics Arkansas by providing professional development in economics and personal finance to other teachers across the state. Those training opportunities will take place after regular school hours in the evening and during the summer break.

"We are privileged to welcome Jan to our group of Master Economics Teachers," said Marsha Masters, Economics Arkansas program coordinator. "Jan is an exemplary educator with creative ideas who will be one of our premier presenters of the required high school economics class."

Loyd has been a social science and economics teacher in Cabot for more than 20 years. One of her most popular and effective classroom lessons involves making "fluffer nutters," a yummy concoction of graham crackers, peanut butter and marshmallows, to demonstrate the law of diminishing returns.

Economics Arkansas launched the MET program in 1992 as a choice initiative to recognize outstanding economic educators. Candidates undergo a rigorous nomination, selection and intern process before designation. Economics Arkansas is one of the few economics councils in the nation that offers this type of recognition program to a unique group of teachers dedicated to promoting economic and personal finance literacy. Since the program’s inception, about 50 educators have been selected as METs. Currently, 21 are actively serving as METs.

Economics Arkansas (through the Arkansas Council on Economic Education) is a private, non-profit, non-partisan, educational organization founded in 1962 by Dr. Bessie B. Moore to promote economic literacy in Arkansas. Its mission is to promote economic literacy and the economic-way of thinking to PreK-12 students in Arkansas by empowering educators to teach the fourth "r," real life economics.

Real life economics teaches students:

•To invest in their human capital, opening opportunities to the American Dream.

•Decision-making skills and the costs associated with each decision.

•Financial skills to better manage their resources in the future.

•About the global market and their future roles as producers and consumers.