Mountain America Credit Union Awards Over $16,000 to Outstanding Educators

The credit union funded unique classroom learning projects in Utah, Arizona and Idaho through the Mountain America Educator Grants program

SANDY, Utah, Dec. 20, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Mountain America Credit Union announced the recipients of its annual Educator Grants program for the 2023–2024 school year. These grants will fund projects that vary in nature, from hands-on integrated science supplies, handmade electric guitars, social skills curriculum resources and more.

Through the program, Mountain America awards up to $20,000 each year for K–12 classroom learning projects. To be eligible, the receiving schools must be located within the credit union’s six-state footprint of Utah, Idaho, Arizona, Montana, Nevada and New Mexico. Since 2016, Mountain America has awarded more than 70 grants to teachers and school leaders to support classroom learning. Educators are encouraged to apply for projects that support classroom learning.

“We are excited to announce the recipients of the Mountain America Credit Union Educator Grant program,” said Sharlene Wells, senior vice president of public relations and organizational communications at Mountain America. “This endeavor exemplifies our commitment to empowering the dedicated educators who shape the future of our communities.”

Three of this year’s recipients include:

Teaching Diversity

John Goodman, from Bridger Elementary School in Logan, Utah, wanted a unique way to help students learn how diversity can be a strength. He began a weekly activity teaching about different countries and languages represented within the school. “Bridger Elementary is one of the most diverse elementary schools in the state, with students speaking over 29 languages,” Goodman said. “This is a way that students can have a hands-on experience and learn more about their fellow students, which will bring everyone closer and make us all stronger. Thank you, Mountain America Credit Union, for your generosity and support!”

Applying Math in the Real World

Mark Waterhouse of Gem State Adventist Academy in Caldwell, Idaho, wanted to give his students the ability to apply math to something tangible: building their own electric guitars. “My whole philosophy as a math teacher is to get the student to see the applications for math, because math is everywhere. Whether you’re a nurse, whether you’re a sanitation engineer, whatever it is, there is math all around you,” Waterhouse said. “Math is kind of given a bad rap because kids associate it with algebra and numbers, but it’s also logic, reason and problem-solving skills. We will use all those skills in building electric guitars.”

Hi-Lo Books to Improve Reading

Angelica Abbey, from Frye Elementary School in Chandler, Arizona, requested funds for high interest, low level (hi-lo) books to help alleviate the wide range of reading levels among her sixth-grade students. Hi-lo books look like high level readers but are at a first through third grade reading level, helping struggling readers feel more included and successful when reading. “This will make a huge difference for my kids and their ability to read,” Abbey said. “Thank you so much for this opportunity. I will be telling all of my peers to apply next year.”

For the past eight years, Mountain America Credit Union has awarded grants to support learning-based projects in K–12 classrooms. For this school year, Mountain America awarded 11 grants, up to $2,000 each. The 2023–2024 Mountain America Educator Grant recipients are Angelica Abbey, Frye Elementary School, Chandler, Arizona; Tracy Anderson, Pine View High School, St. George, Utah; Irene Coronado, Whitesides Elementary School, Layton, Utah; John Goodman, Bridger Elementary School, Logan, Utah; Emily Gunderson, Sierra Bonita Elementary, Spanish Fork, Utah; Victoria Hinojosa, Wasatch Elementary School, Clearfield, Utah; Haley Johnson, Riverview Junior High School, Murray, Utah; Robyn Jones, Overlake Elementary School, Tooele, Utah; Robin Merrill, Canyon Heights High School, Kaysville, Utah; Kietra Stokes, Sage Valley Middle School, Nampa, Idaho; and Mark Waterhouse, Gem State Adventist Academy, Caldwell, Idaho.

Grant opportunities for the 2024–2025 school year will be announced online in 2024. More information can be found at

About Mountain America Credit Union
With more than 1 million members and $18 billion in assets, Mountain America Credit Union helps its members define and achieve their financial dreams. Mountain America provides consumers and businesses with a variety of convenient, flexible products and services, as well as sound, timely advice. Members enjoy access to secure, cutting-edge mobile-banking technology, over 100 branches across six states, and more than 50,000 surcharge-free ATMs. Mountain America—guiding you forward. Learn more at