Economics is no stranger to Jason Pikul, a Personal Finance, Entrepreneurship, Business Ethics, and Webpage Design teacher who has worked at Princeton High School for 12 years. Before teaching at PHS, he was a medical replacement at New Jersey’s Notre Dame High School. He grew up in Woodbridge, New Jersey and has lived all around New Jersey. The youngest of five siblings, Pikul has three children of his own. As an undergraduate, Pikul attended The College of New Jersey and got his MBA from Rutgers University.
Before Pikul began his teaching career, he was a wealth manager and financial planner.
“I got tired of clients who were jittery about the stock market,” Pikul said. “I loved teaching my clients about their own personal situations, so I decided to get my teaching certificate so that I could still teach, but without the monetary pressures.”
Pikul said that if he had not decided to become a teacher, he would probably still be working in wealth management.
Having always had an interest in economics and money, Pikul took business classes such as accounting and economics in high school and college. He also has an interest in psychology, noting how it goes hand in hand with some of his business classes.“In my entrepreneurship class, [psychology] comes in handy, as we’re trying to market products and think about how our consumers may perceive things,” Pikul said.
Pikul stands strongly behind the importance of having a knowledge of personal finance and how money works, regardless of what career path you take.
“Whether it’s credit cards, student loans, money management, buying a house, car, it’s all relevant to everybody.”
Pikul said that his favorite thing about his students is that everyone has a different background and different family situations and histories that can be brought to the classroom.
“Everyone brings to the table a different perspective; some students have jobs, some students have parents that are entrepreneurs and are successful, and everyone brings these ideas into the classroom,” Pikul said.
As well as teaching and interacting with students of all different backgrounds and stories, Pikul enjoys seeing his students out participating in school sports. As a former baseball coach at PHS and now a coach at John Witherspoon Middle School, Pikul’s experience as a classroom teacher is matched by his teaching on the field.
Growing up, Pikul was always a fan of the many New York sports teams, but since moving to Pennsylvania, he has switched his allegiances to the Philadelphia teams.
When he’s not at school teaching, Pikul also has an active life. He has recently run the Trenton half marathon.
“I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was carting my kids around to various practices and games when I’m not teaching,” Pikul said.
Pikul takes pride in his teaching, and uses his experiences with money and the economy to enhance the learning environment for his students.
“[Pikul’s] classes are fun and interesting,” said Erica Oake ’20, one of Pikul’s Personal Finance students. “He knows a lot about the subject and is a great person to learn from.”