These 30 rock
The 30 Columbians
One of Michelle Mountjoy’s most vivid memories as a fifth-grader at Fairview Elementary School is time spent launching eggs and learning about TiVo well before it became a household name, activities her classroom’s education partner, GTE Corporation, organized.
Little did Mountjoy know she would work with the Columbia Public School District’s Partners in Education program, the same initiative that brought the mentor egg launchings in her elementary school days.
Now assistant vice president of small business at UMB, Mountjoy joined Partners in Education shortly after becoming a part-time teller at the bank in 2003. Her initial undertaking: teaching a West Boulevard elementary school class simple economics lessons and the value of saving money.
Since 2003, she has helped increase the number of classroom adopters at UMB from one to six and took over the bank’s Partners in Education steering committee. The committee meets monthly to brainstorm activities for the students, such as a “CEO for the Day” program that gives students a chance to tour the bank.
“The kids would always look forward to her coming,” says Jennifer DeMoss, whose second-grade classroom Mountjoy adopted for two years. “By the end of the year, she knew all of their names and had built a real relationship with them.”
Mountjoy is most proud of her work with the steering committee to implement an incentive luncheon program to encourage school attendance. Each trimester, students with perfect attendance dine with bankers and police officers. Mountjoy says she has seen a steady increase in perfect-attendance students each trimester.
“Being from Columbia, I care about the kids who are growing up here and how they turn out,” Mountjoy says. “These kids are potentially going to be the future leaders of our town.”