Melissa began working with Helps Education Fund in January 2019 as an Implementation Coach and became a HELPS trainer in fall 2019. She was part of the Transformation Network Team from First Presbyterain Church that worked with READ Charlotte to support HELPS at Westerly Hills Academy as part of the multi-partner HELPS pilot project with Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) during the 2018-2019 school year. She also began as a HELPS tutor at two CMS schools that fall as well. Prior to working for Helps Education Fund she taught in Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools as an elementary teacher for 7 years, was a literacy facilitator and then director of a free afterschool program serving children living in low socio- economic neighborhoods in Charlotte. As an educator and advocate for families living in lower socio-economic areas, her passion for helping provide high quality, equitable literacy educational programs for children grew. She is committed to training and coaching tutors to provide high fidelity HELPS sessions that will increase reading fluency for their students, giving these children better learning and life outcomes.
Melissa graduated from Wake Forest University with a B.A. in Elementary Education. In addition to her teaching career and volunteer tutoring, she has spent time working with organizations in Charlotte that promote and advocate for educational equity, research-based, high quality programming and varied experiential opportunities for children and families living in under resourced communities.
Melissa lives in Charlotte, NC with her husband, son and family dog. She also has two adult daughters, one teaches English in Mexico, and the other teaches dance with CMS. In her free time, she loves to travel, read, sing and spend time doing things outdoors with friends and family.