Ask Dwight Global students about Ms. Nurit Praeger’s Economics and AP Microeconomics classes, and they unfailingly mention her ability to clearly deconstruct difficult concepts and clarify complex problems.
They also especially enjoy the way she weaves real-world experience into her course material, and, as a bonus, they say, she makes learning fun.
Ms. Praeger has a rich and varied professional background that includes previous careers in healthcare, finance, and education. She arrived at Dwight Global in 2018, after tutoring Intermediate Economics at NYC’s City College. Now she is on the DG faculty, teaching Economics and Advanced Placement Microeconomics, courses that have grown in popularity over the years.
“My professional experience working at major corporations, and running a manufacturing company, gives me hands-on knowledge of Producer Theory, which is at the heart of the AP Microeconomics course,” said Ms. Praeger. “The abstract material is difficult for students to understand, and relating it to familiar, everyday experiences puts things into perspective for them.”
A true entrepreneurial spirit, Ms. Praeger majored in business and marketing as an undergraduate at Rowan University. She worked in healthcare at Bristol-Myers Squibb, and then at United States Surgical Corporation, where she trained physicians and surgeons in complex laparoscopic surgical procedures.
After getting an MBA degree from Fairleigh Dickinson University, Ms. Praeger moved into strategic wealth management and investing, working as a financial arbitrator and project manager. More recently, she has worked as a financial consultant to The Acceleration Project, a non-profit organization that provides advice to small businesses, many minority-owned.
There is one extremely successful venture that made the Praeger name famous: Ms. Praeger and her late husband, cardiac surgeon Dr. Peter Praeger, as well as his partner Dr. Eric Somberg, bought an unknown, bankrupt food company and transformed it into a thriving frozen food empire.
The company, Dr. Praeger’s Sensible Foods, was a pioneer in frozen natural foods like veggie burgers and meatless chicken, and continued until Dr. Praeger’s death in 2012.
“When we bought the company, it included a large factory with many new machines for food production. We were inspired by those machines to produce frozen heart-healthy foods, since my husband was a cardiac surgeon. At that time, no one was making veggie burgers or meatless chicken, and we filled a niche in the market.”
After Praeger’s Sensible Foods, Ms. Praeger founded her own skincare line, Nurit’s Naturals, skin products made with all natural and clean ingredients. Ms. Praeger said she had difficulty finding skin care products for sensitive skin, so created her own out of pure and natural ingredients. She no longer runs the company, but continues to make her own skin care products for her own use at home, and uses her professional and educational expertise to manage investments for her family and the family businesses.
Ms. Praeger’s varied entrepreneurial and consulting experience add to her teaching skills, and create a vibrant classroom environment for her students. In addition to her classes, she also works with students as the faculty advisor for the Coding Club.
“Ms. Praeger creates a collaborative environment where all students are able to express their questions and seek clarity,” said AP Microeconomics student Jip Clark ‘23. ”It’s a joy being a part of the class, and I look forward to expanding my economic knowledge throughout the year!”
Ms. Praeger is herself a lifelong student, and has continued formal studies in various disciplines throughout her career. She studied for and passed her Series 65 tests for investment advisory, for example. She also obtained certificates in Python Data Structure and programming from the University of Michigan, through Coursera, and another in financial markets from Yale University. She has taken additional coursework in machine learning at Stanford University, in virtual reality at Udacity, and in game theory with Ben Pollack at Yale College.
At Dwight Global, Ms. Praeger brings in guest speakers working in the field of economics, and related fields. For her lecture on natural monopolies, she invited CEO Greg Butler of Eversource, the main energy provider in the state of Connecticut, to talk about monopoly pricing and government regulation. She also arranged for the director of the Paramus, New Jersey, Health Department to discuss the Coase Theorem, so students could ask questions and brainstorm solutions to externalities. Another guest lecturer was Brian Weinstein, lead counsel at New York City’s Davis and Polk firm, who spoke about antitrust law. “The students love to talk about Google and Facebook,” she said. Additionally, Matt Sadinsky, CEO of Prep International and a highly regarded energy industry leader, was invited to speak about natural monopolies and government regulations.
Ms. Praeger also has her students simulate investing in the capital markets using “fake” money, as a way for them to stay on the pulse of the macroeconomics picture, as well as the microeconomics environment, in regards to companies’ cash flows, margins, and regulatory framework.
“I read the Wall Street Journal everyday and frequently post relevant articles for my students to discuss with their parents. This way, as the students get bogged down with plotting cost and revenue curves, they don’t miss the major theoretical perspectives. And, as I remember when my own children were in high school, it's nice to have a topic to discuss at the dinner table every night.”
She continued: “My investment advisory experience also helps lead the students with their Stock Market Game. They play a game with a nonprofit called SIFMA, and compete with other schools and learn the ins and outs of investing in the capital markets. Throughout the course, I send five investment emails guiding them through this journey. The parents seem to enjoy these investment emails as well!”
Hands-on learning makes theoretical concepts easier to learn and cements the knowledge. AP Microeconomics student Veronica Torres ‘23 sums up the student experience well:
“What I love about her class is how she uses her time to have us do problems with her and get explanations on specific topics where we need extra assistance. I am extremely thankful that I was able to get such a dedicated teacher in this difficult class, and I cannot wait to see what we learn the rest of the year!”