Melissa Bledsoe was nominated by an anonymous colleague.
"Mrs. Bledsoe is one of the hardest-working, most effective teachers I have ever known," said her nominator. "She relates well to the students, and there are always students coming to her room for extra help, which she cheerfully provides. She is not a teacher who goes home at the earliest opportunity, choosing instead to remain most days late into the evening working wth students and planning her teaching strategies."
Recently, her school implemented a Math Honorary Society, Mu Alpha Theta, to encourage excellence in mathematics. Mrs. Bledsoe is the sponsor and driving force behind this effort. Mu Alpha Theta has instituted a tutoring program where each member is assigned to tutor other students, with at least 10 hours of tutoring required each year the student is a member. Under Mrs. Bledsoe's leadership, Mu Alpha Theta students also planned and carried out a fun event for the Junior High portion of the school on Pi Day this year. Students were divided into teams to solve math facts, competing against the other teams for prizes and recognition. In addition to Mu Alpha Theta, Mrs. Bledsoe also works with the Academic Boosters for her school to help create an atmosphere of high standards.
Mrs. Bledsoe teaches classes that span the spectrum, from those who did not pass a class the previous year, to those who are taking college-level classes for dual credit. She has earned a Masters degree in mathematics, plus additional hours, and is thus qualified to teach at a collegiate level. She currently teaches at least three dual-credit classes per year. In addition, she is assigned to work with students who have not succeeded in other math classes to help them make up the credits they need for graduation and/or success in post-high school training. She is always aspiring to higher levels of ability to inspire her students and provide them with advanced opportunities for learning. As such, she will be spending a portion of her summer break taking special training to certify her to teach Advanced Placement calculus classes in the future.
Mrs. Bledsoe's colleagues hold her in the highest regard for her professionalism, devotion to the students, and advanced mathematical knowledge. Several faculty members have gone to her for help when they are "stuck" on a mathematics problem. Her colleagues have chosen her to lead the mathematics department's Professional Learning Community for at least the past three years.
The students clearly appreciate Mrs. Bledsoe. In past years, Mrs. Bledsoe would be regularly available for tutoring.
"I have never seen her turn a student away or become impatient with their lack of understanding," said her nominator. "This current year, she has been holding formal math tutoring sessions several evenings a week as part of an after-school program we call Patch."
"I am honored to recommend Mrs. Melissa Bledsoe as a LifeChanger. She brings the highest standards of integrity and dedication to her calling as an educator," said her nominator.