Steven Fountaine

Steve Fountaine is a former Faculty and Coordinator of South Mountain Community College. He served as a Faculty member and teacher of South Mountain Community College for around fifteen years and was, later, a Coordinator of International Educational Services for about twelve years— overall this made him an extremely valuable contributor and important member of SMCC faculty for over twenty years. Fountaine discusses his first encounters and achievements serving the South Mountain College students and community. Aiding the SMCC community and giving them a proper voice was a big factor in Fountaine’s idea of proper student aid. 

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Coming from a big Irish Catholic family, Fountaine preferred smaller schools. Attending a Seminary High School and wanting to become a priest, he earned a classical background in Arts, Science, and Latin. Fountaine loved to paint and enjoyed all the aspects of Art he was exposed to during college. Not too fond of school as a kid until his college years, he later graduated in 1869 and majored in Arts and French from a small college in New York. Fountaine expresses his enjoyment having lived through an era of many revolutions around the world, and later traveling this world right after college.

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When first arriving in South Phoenix, Fountaine expected it to be like any other city, with regular suburbs. He would later listen and start to hear about the dividing lines of Arizona’s cities, but he never thought any less of South Phoenix, SMCC, and their community. Fountaine was first introduced to SMCC by a former friend when South Mountain was looking for Professors to teach at the College.

As a result, he became a night school teacher and taught for the following fifteen years. During the time Fountain spent working as a teacher, he noticed no one had any interest in community programs and later when looking for helo he found programs to help the community and tried to expand the ESL programs, becoming an ESL Coordinator. Fountaine Later became a Faculty, ESL Coordinator, and Coordinator of the International Educational Services of South Mountain Community Colleges.

Potential Interview Clip *12:36 -14:56*

When leaving ASU to teach at SMCC, Fountaine’s first-day teaching was a struggle due to the lack of preparedness, having lots of material needed to teach classes that had to be carried to the classrooms which made it harder for his way of teaching. Fountaine says there were always good and bad memories when getting situated but always had lots of support and acknowledgment to continue as he loved helping and seeing people united. The biggest challenge for him was the division among people, students, and teachers that had a negative impact on the communities and SMCC. Another challenge he talks about is having a voice for those who don’t and representing the people who need help to move forward in their education, making people realize how hard it is for students that others may not comprehend. Later, Covid had an impact on the teachings at SMCC leaving teachers with less contact with students and a general lack of communication. This made interactions with students way harder making it difficult for teachers. It was a  change they were not too ready for. 

Potential Interview Clip *38:06 – 40:52*

Steve Fountaine has Won awards like the Summits Awards and the pillars awards, and a chair academy awards. But One memory that he is really proud of is of a woman who pointed out Fountaine for being the one who really supported the groups and communities, this made him realize how big of an impact a teacher can have on students helping them with mental support and trying to improve their lives. Fountaine explained what he wishes for is for people to realize how hard he worked for those who didn’t have a voice, anyone who needed help to improve their lives through education.

Potential Interview Clip *42:20-45:30*

Something Fountaine explained is to not give up and find as many ways possible to continue with education and make one’s life better— showing how to be a proper role model.

NarratorSteven Fountaine
Place of OriginNew York
Place of ResidenceSouth Phoenix, AZ
OccupationESL Coordinator and SMCC Faculty
Years Active in South Phoenix
Recording Duration01:04:52
Recording DateOctober 5, 2020
Interviewed BySummer Cherland and Yvan Godines
Story Written ByErick Trevizo