Twenty years into the field of education, Melissa Stormont was formerly the Program Manager for Success by Design, the Opportunity Culture distributed leadership model, in CMS. She knows that an excellent teacher makes an indelible impression on students – in fact Melissa inspired one of her own middle school math students to become a CMS teacher and found out 10 years later! She holds a master’s degree in middle level education as well as being certified in secondary mathematics and English. In 2019, she relocated to work in education in Michigan.
What is the greatest challenge our educators face?
Increasing [student] enrollments with decreasing budgets, state policy that limits innovation, and one of the lowest teacher pay scales across the nation
When and where were you learning at your best?
When I transitioned from the classroom to an instructional support role that allowed me to help others grow in their practice
Which skill would you most like to master?
Although my family would say cooking, I would like to master, or at least grow more confident in, my public speaking abilities.
What do you consider your organization's greatest achievement?
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools is an innovative leader in education. We have Project L.I.F.T., North Star Reading Program, Success by Design, Opportunity Culture and magnet programs. All are innovative, strategic programs designed to reach more kids and improve their education and opportunities for success.
If you could change one thing about public education, what would it be?
That all school systems follow a continuous learning calendar year (9 weeks on/2 weeks off each quarter, and a shorter summer break)
What is your favorite children's storybook character?
I taught middle school for 11 years and my all-time favorites are Maxwell Kane and Kevin Dillon in Freak the Mighty by Rodman Philbrick.
When and where were you happiest?
My happiest time is now! My family is healthy, and I love the work I’m doing. I’m able to support principals and develop a teacher-leader pipeline that provides models for a quality education for our students.
What is your most treasured possession?
Irreplaceable- my family. Replaceable- my phone to stay connected to family, friends, and work.
Favorite motto or quote?
Do what is right, even when no-one is looking.
Advice you would give to a young person interested in a profession in education?
Acquire as much experience as possible in the classroom setting, in a variety of schools, socio-economic status levels, grade levels, and subject areas. Get outside your comfort zone because you will grow faster and be the wiser from challenging yourself. Never stop learning.