Melissa is a National Board-Certified social studies educator in Wilmington, Delaware, at Odyssey Charter School, an innovative and diverse dual-language Greek school. An educator for 15 years, Melissa currently teaches A.P. Human Geography, African American Studies, History of Rock & Roll, U.S. History, and a Food Studies Pathway. Melissa is a teacher adviser for Model UN, Youth in Government, and Girls Grow Greens. Melissa is also the KN-12th grade garden coordinator and co-leader of the OCS Green Team. Under her leadership, Odyssey earned an Eco-Schools Green Flag and a National Green Ribbon. Before teaching in Delaware, Melissa taught in India, Poland, and Thailand. Melissa earned a B.A. in history from Tulane University, an M.Ed. in curriculum and instruction (social studies) from the University of Delaware, and an M.A. in United States history at Villanova University as a James Madison Memorial Foundation Fellow. Melissa is a 2020 NEA Global Learning Fellow, a 2019 Gilder-Lehrman Teacher History Teacher of the Year (DE), and the 2021 Delaware Charter School Teacher of the Year. A 2019 Grosvenor Teacher Fellow, Melissa participated in an expedition to the Galapagos. A proud Delaware educator, Melissa is highly passionate about food justice, global studies, and student's voice.
The Educator of the Year Awards are presented annually to exemplary educators who have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to preparing students for success in college and in life. These awardees model best practices in teaching or administration inside and outside of the classroom, are peer role models, and demonstrate outstanding leadership and excellence in education. Any NSHSS Educator teaching high school has the opportunity to apply.