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New teacher profile: Melissa Smith

Picture of Reading Teacher Melissa SmithMelissa Smith is a Reading teacher (Pre-K through 6) at Heatly. She is certified to teach Literacy from birth through 6th grade. Born and raised in Green Island, Melissa first came to Heatly as a student in the 3rd grade. She remained at Heatly until graduating in the senior class of 1994.

Melissa has obtained various degrees throughout her education. She has earned an Associate’s degree in Early Childhood Education and a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education with a concentration in English, both at the College of Saint Rose. She also earned her Master’s degree in Literacy at Sage College in Troy.

Melissa began her teaching career at Heatly in 2001 as a Teaching Assistant. She held that position for six years, working with students in K-6. Melissa also taught kindergarten for four years during this time before taking a leave of absence to spend time with her family. During her time away from Heatly, Melissa worked at Kids Express and managed 25 Silver Boutique.

Teaching has always been Melissa’s dream job, which ultimately led to her return to the classroom in 2017 as a teaching assistant. According to Melissa, the best part about being a teacher is “creating new ways to help students learn things. One thing I love the most about Green Island is not only making strong relationships with our students but with their families as well”.

After two years as a teaching assistant, Melissa moved to her current position as a Reading teacher. When asked what she enjoys most about her job, Melissa said “I love working in Green Island. Being born and raised here, I have always wanted my students to feel welcome and loved the way I did as a child. Being able to teach students in elementary school and watching them graduate is very rewarding. Many of the teachers from my past have grown up to be my co-workers and mentors. I am glad to be in the role of Reading AIS, as I love the one-on-one attention with my students and watching them become independent readers!”

When she’s not teaching at Heatly, Melissa can be found working on the Emergency Response Team, the Elementary Student Council or on Heatly’s Impact Team. She also has two daughters, Rylee and Parker with whom she spends most of her free time with and they’re very involved in competitive dance.