Senior Director, Santa Cruz / Silicon Valley New Teacher Project, Director of Equity
Melissa started out as a public school teacher for thirteen years. Teaching in California, Louisiana, and Connecticut, she worked primarily with students in grades 5-8 and Alternative Education. Melissa has her National Board Certification in Early Adolescent English Language Arts, and she is a literacy specialist. She has a Masters in Education from the University of Louisiana Lafayette and her clear administrative credential.
For the past ten years, Melissa has been part of the Santa Cruz/Silicon Valley New Teacher Project (SC/SVNTP) working with new teachers, mentors, and instructional coaches. In the spring of 2020, after reviewing program data, reflecting on our core value of equity, and given the socio-political context, the SC/SVNTP set forward a goal to “achieve educational equity by developing antiracist educators who focus on student outcomes.” A year into this laser focus, Melissa is now in a split role as the Senior Director for SC/SVNPT and Equity for the Santa Cruz County Office of Education. As the Senior Director of Equity, Melissa supports the Santa Cruz COE’s internal equity work and partners with districts to explore and expand their development as educational leaders for equity.