ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – Mrs. LaMont has been an educator in the Twin Tiers for 45 years. She began her career working with the Community Schools department, developing programs to bridge the gap for low-income families. She also created a reading program for students with disabilities.

After her time there, she moved on to work as a physical education teacher for 20 years in the Elmira City School District.

“And then to go into Phys Ed, I was actually in a classroom, so to speak, the gymnasium. And then, and now I’m actually in a classroom,” Mrs. LaMont said.

She retired as a physical education teacher in 2011 when the district was going through budget cuts. She missed working with the students and quickly returned to the classroom a year later. She is now an aide in a second-grade classroom at Fassett Elementary School. Additionally, she is a cheerleading coach and has worked with several squads from different schools. She is always supporting and looking out for her kids.

“I’m big on kindness and manners. If I can be kind and somehow that shows through [one of my students] to someone else…” Mrs. LaMont continued. “You just can’t beat that joy and that smile on their faces when you made a connection.”

During the COVID-19 pandemic, she ensured her students were properly equipped to approach virtual learning. She is also the first person to provide fun goodies in class, especially from the book fair. However, she gives the credit to her fellow colleagues.

“I think my thing here is facilitating positive change. I surround myself with people that can help my team or help me figure out Zoom,” she said with a laugh.

Above all, she brings joy and light into the classroom, making learning fun for her students. She wants them to remember the fun and smiles they shared together.

“[I hope they] remember how silly I was with my magic wand when we play pretend, or hat day or Mrs. LaMont had a flamingo with a mask on in the classroom,” she added. “Smile, maintain your sense of humor. Keep trying. Just keep trying.