March Literacy Leader: Chris Montgomery


Every week for four days a week, Chris Montgomery arrives at the Open Door Learning Center - Rondo an hour early to work one-on-one with students before class begins. Then he assists in the set-up of his classroom and proceeds to spend the rest of the day co-teaching GED, monitoring practice tests, tutoring small groups, and mentoring students. A leader to all in his indefatigable energy and drive to support both his students and learning center, Chris has earned the distinction of being our March Literacy Leader.

After his retirement several years ago, Chris sought out volunteering as an interesting, meaningful way to spend his time. He found information about the Minnesota Literacy Council online and immediately enrolled in the GED tutor training. Since that day, Chris got involved by first volunteering at the Open Door Learning Center – Lake Street and by later becoming a permanent fixture at Rondo.

Teachers and learners alike are grateful for Chris’s reliable and daily presence at the learning center. Chris is known for his incredible empathy as a tutor, and his students appreciate patience and willingness to listen as he teaches.

Chris says one of his favorite parts of being a volunteer at Rondo is watching learners succeed, whether they finally complete their GED, or simply begin to grasp a difficult concept during a tutoring session. “[I love it when] you have been working with a student or class and the light goes on,” says Chris. “This is many times followed by a lot of questions… better than answers any day.” Chris is also impressed by the ability of the learners and students at Rondo to work together, despite a diversity of cultural backgrounds.  According to Chris: “the world’s leaders could take a lesson!”

Chris’s outstanding qualities make him an invaluable asset at Rondo. Congratulations, Chris, and thank you for your enthusiasm and dedication as a volunteer!

Written by Emily Crenner, Volunteer Outreach Intern

Do you know an exceptional volunteer? Each month the Minnesota Literacy Council highlights a talented and enthusiastic adult literacy volunteer in Minnesota. To nominate someone you know, please contact Erik Erkkila.

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