Mr. André Benito Mountain began his tenure as the fourth principal of Marbut Traditional Theme School on April 17, 2017. Mr. Mountain is a graduate of Augustus Robertson Johnson Health Science and Engineering High School in Augusta, Georgia. After graduating from ARJ, Mr. Mountain attended Georgia Southern University, earning a degree in History with a minor in Africana Studies in 1998. He earned a Masters of Arts in Elementary Education from Wesleyan College in 2005, an Educational Specialist degree from Augusta University in 2010, and completed professional development in Instructional Rounds at the Harvard Graduate School of Education in 2013.
He worked as a financial analyst for Merrill Lynch in New York, NY and Jersey City, NJ where he was a witness to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Those expereinces led Mr. Mountain to change from a career in finance to a more rewarding role as an educator on September 28th, 2001. Principal Mountain began his career in education as an elementary teacher in Hancock County teaching 1st grade at Southwest Elementary School. After enrolling in the Georgia TAPP Program (Teacher Academy for Preparation & Pedagogy) through the Bibb County School District and Wesleyan College, he earned teacher certification in elementary education and a Masters in elementary education. He worked as a 4th and 5th grade teacher teacher in Bibb County School District and Richmond County School System.
In 2010, he became the Social Studies Coordinator for the Richmond County School District's 59 schools. In this role, Mr. Mountain worked to improve instruction in social studies classes by observing instruction, providing feedback, and designing and delivering professional development. During his tenure as Social Studies Coordinator, he presented at state and national conferences on new approaches in social studies instruction and culturally responsive practices. Under his leadership, the district showed gains in all areas of social studies between 2010 and 2014. In 2011, he was named the Outstanding Student in Educational Leadership by the Augusta University Educational Leadership Department. In 2012, Principal Mountain joined forces with Garden City Jazz to create the Taking Notes - Jazz and the American Story program to help integrate the arts into the study of American history courses. He served as an Assistant Principal in Tacoma, Washington from 2014 to 2017. During his time in Washington, Mr. Mountain was featured on the cover of TEACH Magazine and Washington Principal Magazine because of his innovative practices in very diverse schools.
Principal Mountain is excited about the opportunity to provide leadership for Marbut as they embark on a rebranding of the school including many improvements in the physical appearance of the school, enhancements in the social media presence, and writing across the curriculum. The conference room has been rededicated as the Nelson Mandela Conference Room to honor the legacy and leadership of Nelson Mandela. This year, 3 murals are being created by Atlanta artist C. Flux Sing. Since his arrival in April of 2017, the school has forged partnerships with Chick-Fil-A at Stonecrest Mall, Majesty West African Cuisine, Wade Walker YMCA, Panda Express Restaurant, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, Girls on the Run, Babatunde the Griot, and Say No to Average's Morehouse at Marbut organization.