Teacher Tuesday: MCC’s super ‘sup’ Jeff Mount. 

October 27, 2020

Teacher Tuesday: MCC’s super ‘sup’ Jeff Mount. 

Teacher Tuesday is a presentation of Shelby State Bank, www.shelbystatebank.com.

By Kate Krieger, MCP Staff Writer.

SCOTTVILLE – Mason County Central Superintendent Jeff Mount has basically lived and breathed “school” his entire life, with 47 years in education and 28 of those as an educator.

“Both of my parents were teachers,” he said. “I admired their giving nature and the excitement they brought home every day from the classroom. There would be days when they were truly exhausted, but you could tell, those were the days they were most proud of. And I have spent my life trying to live up to the two greatest role models in my life, my parents.”

Mount grew up in Greenville, graduating in 1988 and then went on to college at Central Michigan University to begin his pursuit to become a teacher, just like his parents.

He then got a job in 1993 as a science teacher at Ludington High School. He also began spending weekends working toward a master’s degree in education from Grand Valley State University. 

“I spent six years as a teacher in the subjects of chemistry, biology, human anatomy and physiology, and physical science.  While there, I also coached football and track.

“In the fall of 1999, I came to Mason County Central to serve as the assistant principal of the middle school.  Two years later, I became the principal for the next five years. In July of 2006, I became the superintendent.”

Mount, who has been superintendent of MCC for 15 years is only the sixth superintendent of the school, which was founded in 1956. 

Mount said there has been a favorite common denominator in every aspect of his educational career.

“The kids, the kids, the kids,” he said. “I have so many memories. I truly enjoy getting to know the students. It is a much more difficult task since becoming the superintendent as my district responsibilities hinder my opportunities to interact with students as much as I want to. I absolutely love watching our students grow and flourish. Whether it is on the drama or performing arts stage, the athletic field, or walking across that stage to receive their diploma. I love it.

“But what I love the most is running into past graduates and/or hearing about their successes beyond high school. That’s when I know our work as educators has paid off.”

Mount said he has seen many different aspects of education change over the years, but there is one aspect that he wishes would stay the same no matter what the times may bring.

“I think some in my position would likely say something regarding instructional or curricular change,” he said. “Those changes come and go with the times. The lasting change that I would like to see is a true appreciation for one another. An appreciation for the hard work that our educators are doing every day. In society as a whole, we need to share more care and compassion for one another. In schools, parents and teachers both want the same things for their children, our students. Let’s work together with that goal in mind.”

As the world has seen many changes over the past year thanks to COVID-19, teachers and parents alike are dealing with the struggles of changes in education and how those changes look and relate personally to each of them on a daily basis. More now than ever, parents are starting to see how much work teachers do each day, especially those parents helping their children tackle distance learning.

“In my position as superintendent, the coronavirus completely changed what a ‘normal’ day looks like,” Mount said. “I have spent way too much time on Zoom meetings. I am a people person and truly value the need for personal connections. Since the end of the day on March 13 we/I have been missing that connection. We do our best work with students here at school. We worked our butts off this summer to make sure we had the school ready for face-to-face instruction, so when the kids and staff returned, we could do it as safely as possible. And while that’s what we really want, we also prepared ourselves for a remote learning plan for those that were still uncomfortable attending in person. So, we are now ready for whichever direction this virus is going to take us. At the end of the day, we prepared for the worst, but are hoping for the best.”

Even though education field comes with its share of trying and difficult times, Mount said the good outweighs the bad almost always and those looking to pursue a career as an educator should follow their passion. 

“Education is truly is one of the most rewarding professions on the planet,” Mount stated. “Get your degree in an area and grade level you truly love. For me, it was high school science. You will not go to work ever again, you will go to school to connect with kids and share your passion with them.”

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