Winooski School District

Cloudy, and 34 °F | Jan 23rd: Green Day

Melissa Mason

Melissa ClarkI have been blessed with a wonderful family. I have two sisters, two step-brothers, and one step-sister. I have a wonderful, beautiful, and talented mother, and an extremely dedicated and hard-working step-father. My father and my step-mother live in beautiful Florida. I have a precious niece and nephew. I have been lucky enough to have, recently, inherited a wonderful mother and father in-law, and my best friend and partner in life, who I have known since childhood. I have been lucky enough to travel all over the world: the whole of the United States, Fiji, Australia, France, and the Bahamas. I love to run and spend many hours dedicated to training for marathons as well as my health. My passion lies with children and always will.

Education and Professional Experiences
I was born in New Jersey and raised in Colchester, Vermont. I moved to Hinesburg in my Sophomore year of high school and graduated from CVU in 2003. I made my trek across the country to Nevada where I attended two years of post-secondary education at the University of Nevada, Reno. After two years of the beautiful west, I made my journey back home to the Green Mountains of Vermont. I graduated from the University of Vermont in May of 2008 with a Bachelors of Science in Psychology, and spent two years in the work force until I realized I wanted to become a mathematics teacher. I graduated from the Teaching Apprenticeship program in April of 2011 with a license in Secondary Mathematics Education. I am currently in my third year of teaching and have continued my education through the Vermont Mathematics Initiative at the University of Vermont. I will graduate from VMI with a Masters in Science in Teaching (MST) next spring. It has been a long journey, but a wonderful one and hope to continue my education for many years to come.

What has been your greatest learning experience? (in or out of school)
My greatest learning experience came when I was a sophomore in college. I was far from home and struggling to make it. It wasn’t until that moment in time when I realized how dependent I became on my faith.

Who do you admire and why?
The person I admire most in my life has and always will be my mother. She has taught me that no matter what life’s circumstances come my way, there is nothing I cannot do. With a strong faith, love of myself, and love of and commitment to my family, I will always be successful.

What do you love about your current WSD position and the WSD community?
Upon graduation from the TAP program, my heart was set on finding a position in a high-needs district with an extremely diverse community. Initially, after graduation, I contemplated applying for the Teach for America program where I would be sent to a very high-needs area, but after consideration of my family, I began my search here in Chittenden county. I was working at Burlington High School which had satisfied all of my requirements; however, I needed a position that would be full-time and permanent. That is when I began my journey at Winooski High School. I started my career at Winooski in the Fall of 2011 and have been here ever since. I am not going to say it is an easy district to work in: it is a challenge every day. However, I wouldn’t change it for the world. The students that I encounter on a daily basis, and the parents homes I am invited into, make it worth the challenge. I don’t believe that teachers apply to a title 1 school with a 70% free-reduced lunch population because they think it will be easy: I love challenge, I live for challenge, I thrive in challenge.