May 4, 2011
– Florida A&M University (FAMU) alumna Rachel Melson, a 21st Century site coordinator at Bond Elementary School in Tallahassee, Fla., was selected as the 2011 Florida School-Related Employee of the Year. Melson was selected from among four other finalists who were considered based on their unique ability to help their respective schools be successful while also providing outstanding service to the teachers and students they work alongside.
“The announcement that I was named the School Related Employee of the Year for the entire state of Florida really sent me on a whirlwind of emotions.” she said. “I was already elated to have been named the district winner, but to receive such an honor out of 67 counties in the state is simply amazing to me. As a passionate educator, I do what I do, not for any recognition, but for the success and growth of my students. The reward is in seeing each of their daily successes and triumphs.”
Leon County Superintendent Jackie Pons expressed how Melson sets a great example for public education.
“Ms. Melson goes above and beyond as coordinator of after-school program activities at Bond Elementary, so it’s an honor that she’s been named the Florida School Related Employee of the Year,” said Pons. “She has not only enriched program offerings for Bond’s students, but also has developed strong relationships with local businesses and community organizations.”
Melson earned her bachelor’s degree in business administration in the spring of 2008 and masters in educational leadership in the spring of 2010. She recently applied for the doctoral cohort in educational leadership at FAMU, and is excitedly waiting to hear back from the College of Education about her acceptance.
“FAMU is truly a training ground for future leaders of our world,” she said. “I remember vividly the first day I ever stepped foot on the illustrious campus. FAMU has taught me to think globally and to position myself and those around me to be catalysts for positive change in the world. There is nothing like inspiring a child to be better or lighting a spark in them that turns into an eternal flame of thirst for knowledge. FAMU has prepared me for my position today academically, mentally, socially and more. Each day on the “Hill” was a step into a promising future for me. I thank FAMU for all it’s done to inspire me!”
The Florida School-Related Employee of the Year receives an award of $1,000 from the Department of Education, and each finalist receives an award of $475. In addition, each district nominee receives an award of $100. The program recognizes outstanding education support personnel for the significant contributions they make to their schools and district school systems. Award selection is based on an application showing the nominees' efforts to go beyond the basic requirements of their duties and contribute to the academic success of students, schools and the district.
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