“You’re never too young to learn about business and how it impacts your life.”

That core belief serves as a foundation for the work of Kathy Mountjoy, Assistant Professor of Business Teacher Education at Illinois State University, who was recently recognized by the Illinois Business Education Association (IBEA) as the Collegiate Teacher of the Year.

“I see great value in business education for students in the K-12 environment. Students who are introduced to business education at the K-12 level, whether it be learning how to keyboard and use a computer effectively, or developing an understanding of business, are better prepared for the challenges they will face when they leave the K-12 setting.

“Kathy has worked tireless hours in support of the BTE program by developing new courses offered online and in classroom settings while working with student teachers and their mentor supervisors,” said Tim Longfellow, Chairperson of the Department of Marketing where the Business Teacher Education program is housed.

Mountjoy also serves as the faculty advisory for the Theta Epsilon Chapter of Alpha Phi Omega is a national, co-ed service fraternity, so her positive influence on students is extensive.

“This is a prestigious distinction for Kathy and underscores the outstanding quality of our BTE program and the professors preparing the next generation of business educators,” added Longfellow.

Working with pre-service business teachers provides Mountjoy an opportunity to help students learn both content knowledge and develop skills that will help them become effective classroom teachers.

“Watching them grow and change from students themselves into business educators is very rewarding,” she explained.

The Illinois State University Business Teacher Education Program is the only program in the state approved by the Illinois State Board of Education and accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) to offer a degree qualifying graduates for certification in business for grades K-12. For information on the program visit http://www.cob.ilstu.edu/prospective/BusinessTeacherEducation.shtml