CLAYMONT, DE - U.S. Senator Tom Carper and State Treasurer Jack Markell announced today at the Claymont Community Center that Ronni K. Cohen, former Delaware Teacher of the Year, will become the first Executive Director of the Delaware Financial Literacy Institute, a new 501 (c)(3) organization. The Delaware Financial Literacy Institute, a newly formed not-for-profit, will promote financial education through the Delaware Money School and conferences. Its mission is to help individuals - especially those of low and moderate income - become equipped with the tools to get their financial lives in order so that they can be self-sufficient and enjoy financial well-being over time. The Institute will collaborate with a number of community organizations. "The evidence is compelling that many children and adults alike need ongoing education in financial management," said State Treasurer Jack Markell, a member of the Board of the Delaware Financial Literacy Institute. "Working with partner organizations throughout Delaware, the Delaware Financial Literacy Institute will play a key role in giving people the tools they need to take control of their financial lives. We couldn't have a better leader than Ronni Cohen, who has a passion for and proven track record in helping get people on the right track." Miss Cohen, who teaches at Claymont Elementary School, was Delaware's Teacher of the Year in 2000. She is retiring after 33 years of teaching economics and entrepreneurship. In 1992, Miss Cohen and her principal opened the first bank at school in Delaware with Wilmington Trust. The bank at school program has expanded to over 20 schools in the state. The program she created with her principal at Claymont Elementary School was awarded a Chamber of Commerce Superstar in Education award, as well as the Business Week award for a school that promotes the power of financial literacy. Additionally, Miss Cohen has been honored with the Freedoms Foundation Leavey award for private enterprise education. "I am excited about the challenge of working with public, private, and government sectors to create and offer opportunities for all Delawareans to develop their financial literacy and independence," said Miss Cohen. "It's hard to imagine a better choice than Ronni Cohen," said U.S. Senator Tom Carper, also a Delaware Financial Literacy Institute Board member. "We know first-hand in our family what an exceptional teacher she is. Ronni has taught both of our sons in the Brandywine School District. She instilled in them, as well as in a multitude of other students, an entrepreneurial spirit and an understanding of the importance that finances play in our everyday lives. Those lessons will serve them well for the rest of their personal and professional lives. In her new role, Ronni will be able to ensure that the same valuable lessons are made available to a broad cross-section of Delawareans from throughout our state. They will benefit and so will Delaware." Miss Cohen has studied and worked as a program coordinator for the Center for Economic Education and Entrepreneurship since 1972. She teaches the graduate seminar, "b-school for beginners", as well as teaches classes for the Delaware Money School on the topic of raising financially responsible children. Miss Cohen was a speaker at the 2000 Everywoman's Money Conference and she served on the planning committee for the 2001 Money $marts Kids conference. Miss Cohen serves on the Governor's Task Force for Financial Independence and the General Assembly's Joint Committee on Financial Literacy.