Faculty Friday; Meet Dr. Lee Montgomery, Education

Posted: November 27, 2017 | Author: Abigail Wyatt | Read Time: 3 minutes

Doctor Lee MontgomeryDr. Lee Montgomery began his educational career at a small rural school in Oklahoma teaching English language arts. Desiring to influence more teachers and improve schools, he pursued more education and became a principal in the Hartley Independent School District in Texas.

He earned his Master of Education at East Central University and his Doctor of Philosophy at University of North Texas. Montgomery came to Southern Utah University in 1989 as a professor of graduate education.

Montgomery teaches the following classes:

  • EDUC 6000 Issues in Psychology and Measurement
  • EDUC 6380 Ethics for Educational Leaders
  • EDUC 6410 Curriculum & Philosophical Foundations
  • EDUC 6560 Leadership of Student Services and Programs

Montgomery’s decision to become an educator was the direct result of Miss Gertrude (Gussy) Lynch, his fourth grade teacher at Lone Grove Elementary School in Oklahoma. When he entered the fourth grade he still couldn’t read and had given up on school, just as his first three elementary school teachers had given up on him.

Miss Lynch encouraged and coaxed him to read through his passion for comic books about monsters. Montgomery still owns a copy of the Classics Illustrated version of Dracula that she used as his “basal reader.” She believed in him when no one else would, which ultimately led to Montgomery staying in school instead of dropping out.

“I was fortunate to be influenced by a few good teachers who literally changed my life,” said Montgomery. “I was drawn to education by the desire to make a difference in the lives of children by positively influencing those who teach them.”

In his 28 years in higher education, Montgomery has taught more than 500 courses and interacted with more than 10,000 teachers. He hopes that sharing his personal experiences and philosophy will continue to have a “ripple effect” on the lives of the children they teach.

“As I near the end of my professional career, I realize how fortunate I have been to teach at this remarkable institution,” said Montgomery. “If my rumbling and rambling lectures have made an impact on even a few teachers, I consider my legacy secure.”

Montgomery’s goal in every class is to help his students develop a deep understanding of the content he teaches and apply it in their future classrooms. He enjoys challenging students to question what they know and embrace the possibility of better, more effective ways to teach.

“I tell my students that there is no higher calling than to be a public school teacher who touches the lives of children on a daily basis,” said Montgomery. “No other work is as rewarding or important as helping children grow and achieve their full potential.”

During his time at SUU, Montgomery spearheaded the College of Education’s effort to achieve national accreditation by the National Council for Teacher Education (NCATE) in 2001. He also authored a $1.5 million campuswide State Educational Technology Initiative grant in 1990 that led to the establishment of the first departmental computer laboratories on the SUU campus.

Aside from education, family and community are important to Montgomery. He is a priest in the Episcopal Diocese of Utah and has many fond memories from his work as a teacher and principal in Oklahoma, Texas and Utah.

His advice to students is this: “Focus less on getting good grades and focus more on what you are learning.” Although it may sound paradoxical, it is true. To Montgomery, education is all about growth and that growth cannot occur unless people are willing to take risks.

Tags: Faculty College of Education and Human Development

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