Prior to arriving at IVA, Mr. Fountain taught 6th- and 8th-grade history at Stanford Middle School in Long Beach. He previously spent five years working at Little Owl Preschool and Isabel Patterson Child Development Center, implementing a Reggio Emilia philosophy based on respect, responsibility, and community through exploration and discovery. He was also a community services aide for the City of Montebello, operating a drop-in program for local middle and high school-aged students.
Mr. Fountain attended California State University of Long Beach, where he completed a single subject social science credential and bachelor's degree in history with a minor in sociology.
Mr. Fountain lived in Florence, Italy for six months studying Renaissance and Jewish Italian History. He traveled extensively throughout Europe and, more recently, to Nicaragua in Central America. He has attended and contributed to numerous curriculum-building workshops, including the Forestry Institute for Teachers, and Teach India at the Yadunandan Center for India Studies.
"As an educator, I am drawn to IVA’s mission to practice methods that excite and continually engage students in learning, reflection, and self-awareness. I consider myself an advocate of critical thinking in historical study and, in observing the constant application of a growth mindset here at IVA, I was more than thrilled to join the team. Far too often, students are subject to an educational experience that inhibits their ability to explore, question, and challenge preconceptions of the world around them. IVA does the opposite. Here, students and teachers alike have the unique opportunity to learn together in an environment that promotes such virtues as intellectual autonomy, open-mindedness, and courage. All are expected to ask questions and embrace struggle. An intentional value is placed on the process of learning, creating an experience not beholden to a defined outcome. It is within this framework that students are much more than pupils in a history classroom; they become historians themselves. The school's vision of empowering students in expressing their unique curiosity and independence is aligned with my own belief that every student is a capable learner. Furthermore, my connection to IVA was strengthened by the school’s ability to create passionate and engaged citizens who advocate on behalf of their respective communities. As a history teacher, I am eager to expand my own understanding of intellectual character and promote an environment where every student feels comfortable to do the same."