Mustang of the Month; Chris Haar, Courtney Acker, Tori Roberts; January 2024; images: Chris, Courtney, Tori, Mustang logo, white text on blue translucent background with the middle school behind, blue text in white rectangles

The PBIS Leadership Team is proud to announce our Mustang of the Month award recipients for the month of January. Congratulations to Christopher Haar, Courtney Acker and Tori Roberts!

 Our first Mustang of the Month is Christopher Haar, a custodian based out of Mount Markham Elementary School.

 Christopher Haar first came to the area when he attended SUNY Morrisville, which is where he met his wife, a Bridgewater native. Haar has worked for the district for over 28 years, raised three children in the area, and operates a small chicken farm.

 Haar’s favorite aspects of being a part of the Mount Markham CSD community are the small town, rural values and the people he has gotten to know over the years.

 Haar credits his success to hard work, honesty and a willingness to serve.

 “When asked to describe myself in one word at my job interview here (all those years ago), I used ‘Integrity’ which I still work to hold myself to each and every day,” Chris Haar said.

 When Chris Haar is not at work, he enjoys camping, traveling and spending time with family and friends.

 Our next Mustang of the Month is Courtney Acker, a teacher at Mount Markham Middle School.

 A local to the area, Courtney Acker originally hails from Waterville. Acker attended SUNY Potsdam for her teaching degrees and taught at OESJ CSD before coming to Mount Markham CSD. Aside from teaching, Acker considers her husband and two sons as the most important things in her life.

 At Mount Markham Middle School, Acker enjoys being around her students and working with other faculty and staff.

 Courtney Acker is passionate about the content that she teaches and strives to make it interesting for her students. Acker values building strong connections with the students, not just as individuals, but as a group, so they can learn and grow together, which has deeply contributed to her success as an educator.

 Many of Acker’s students have noted her drive to build connections.

“Throughout all of our lives, there will always be someone that students are more dependent on, and the teacher I have found myself closest to is Mrs. Acker,” one student said. “Whenever the memories made in 6th grade with her show in my mind, I feel blissful. I love how she was so kind to us and said that she loved the whole class–as a good teacher should.”

Outside of work, Courtney Acker enjoys reading as well as yoga, which Acker is certified to teach.

Our final Mustang of the Month is Tori Roberts, a teacher at Mount Markham High School.

Tori Roberts was raised in West Winfield and is a Mount Markham CSD alumnus. After high school, Roberts attended SUNY Cobleskill where she received an associate degree in Restaurant Management and a bachelor’s degree in Culinary Arts. After entering the workforce, Roberts decided to become a teacher, attending SUNY Oswego and earning a master’s degree in Family and Consumer Education.

Roberts’s favorite part of being in the Mount Markham CSD community is being able to connect with the students and build a good rapport.

Roberts closely holds the values of respecting and caring for others, and credits much of her success to those core values.

Many of Tori Roberts’s colleagues have noted the level of care she has for her students, and the opportunities she has strived to give them.

“Her dedication to educating our students in both nutrition and entrepreneurship has truly made a significant impact,” one colleague said. “The curriculum she crafted reflects not only her expertise but also her passion for cultivating a deeper understanding of health and well-being among our students. Tori's innovative approach to integrating practical business skills with the principles of healthy living has created a unique and enriching learning experience.”

When she is not at Mount Markham High School, Roberts enjoys spending time with family and friends, hiking, kayaking, sewing, baking and cooking, and spending time in the Adirondacks. Tori Roberts also runs a custom cake business, For Goodness Cakes by Tori.