The Heart of Wilde Lake: Mr. Blount is a Support System for Students

Mr. Blount fist-bumps Sam Phelps on his way out of the classroom. (Photo by Greta Giuliano)

Starting his sixth year at Wilde Lake, Mr. Blount continues to be a support system for many students as a paraeducator, the step team coach, and a mentor. 

As a paraeducator, he says that he helps students with specific needs and assists with teaching. Outside of the classrooms, Mr. Blount coaches the school’s step team he started four years ago.

He says that the initial vision for the step team was to have a safe place for students to express themselves in a way they couldn’t normally in the classroom.

Zoie Maddox, a member of the step team, says, “He’s pretty chill and serious when needed, and his coaching is effective.”

Aniya Harris, another step team member, says Mr. Blount has helped motivate her.  “He’s helped me especially when it comes to school, like, with homework, and he just helped me to motivate myself and spread kindness to others.” 

Mr. Blount, or simply Blount as some students call him, acts as a support system for some students, offering students someone to listen to them. 

Zoie says she has gone to him for support before, as have other students. “A lot of kids come and just sit and talk to him, if they just need, like, a mental break,” she said. “He’s just given me a lot of perspective on things. He’s just been there as a person to talk to.”

Before coming to Wilde Lake, Mr. Blount worked in Baltimore in elementary and high schools. But he says Wilde Lake community is “joy.”  

“I’ve had other jobs, opportunities, and schools, but the joy piece is often missing,” he said. “I want other schools to look at Wilde Lake and say, ‘I wanna be like that. I’m going to strive for that. So we keep stretching the boundaries of what education can be. Other schools can start to emulate that.”

But he says that the educational system has its flaws but tries to be bigger than the flaws. “Education strips away everything that makes us interesting and makes us ourselves,” he said. “I’m okay with teaching every student of mine, be yourself and be the best version of yourself.”

Mr. Blount says his overarching goal is always students’ growth. “My only mission is for students to become the best version of themselves and be okay with being themselves,” he said.