Bachelor of Arts (USA)
Master of Education (USA)
T.E.F.L Certificate (USA)
Melissa is very excited to join the team at SPOT as a Specialist Teacher. She brings her extensive experience teaching, and a passion for working with neurodiverse children to our team. As a teacher, Melissa works to create enjoyable and interactive lessons to meet students’ developmental needs. Melissa always incorporates both traditional and non-traditional styles of teaching, along with sensory integration techniques, and social and emotional support for all of her students. Melissa has over twenty years of experience working with an array of children and teenagers, and she is eager to integrate that experience into SPOT’s programming.
Melissa attended the University of Cincinnati, where she received a Bachelor’s of Arts in Communications. Following her undergraduate education, she moved to her hometown of Cleveland where she started working as a teaching assistant in a special education unit. While she originally planned for this to be a temporary position, Melissa quickly learned that working with children with varying abilities was the career she wanted to pursue.
Melissa then obtained her Master’s Degree in Education at Cleveland State University with a concentration in moderate to intensive educational needs. While in her program, she conducted research on Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) for children with the Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). She also completed the Ohio teaching examination, enabling her to work with people from the ages five to twenty-one. Melissa also gained her T.E.F.L (Teaching English as Foreign Language) Certificate, and spent her summer working with children across Italy.
Melissa eventually moved to London, working as teacher in a special school. There she had the opportunity to educate teenage children with ASD, dyslexia, dyspraxia, cognitive and physical delays. She created Individualized Education Plans (IEP) for all her students, taught life skills and key components of the National Curriculum. Melissa also worked in an Autism unit at a primary school with children across the ASD spectrum and diverse intellectual abilities. She used the Picture Communication System (PECS) for her nonverbal students and created social stories for students to help ease anxiety and reduce ritual-based behavior. Melissa’s last position in London was working at specialized unit at a religious grammar school. In this role she also worked with children with dyslexia, dyspraxia, cognitive, emotional and behavioral needs. In addition, she provided oversight to the History and Geography department, designing and implementing behavior management plans. In her work, Melissa believed in collaborating with parents, social workers, psychologists, speech therapists, occupational therapists, teaching assistants and other teachers to ensure that each of her students could reach their ultimate potential.
When Melissa moved to Hong Kong, she decided become a private tutor. This flexible role allowed her to also devote time to her other passions, her children and travel. Her role as a tutor also allowed her to work with children with extraordinary intellectual abilities, those studying English as a Second Language, and children needing additional support. Melissa saw tutoring as an opportunity to set personalized educational goals and teaching plans for her students and develops personalized teaching plans. She is thrilled to now incorporate all of her skills, including providing classroom and individualized support, to students enrolled at SPOT.