LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Melanie Maine

Position: Intervention Counselor
School: Central High School
School District: Keller ISD
City, State: Fort Worth, TX

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Melanie Maine was nominated by her friend, Kay Branch.

As you can tell by the picture accompanying this profile, Mrs. Maine is not your conventional counselor, and that is what makes her one of a kind. She is innovative, but may not have innovative programs in the traditional sense. Everything she does is different from the standard. 

"Melanie began her counseling career 16 years ago at Sam Houston Middle School in Irving, Texas.  This is where I met her," said Branch. "I was working at another middle school and had been counseling for seven years. Melanie taught me a lot. She did things differently, but she was amazing because her approach worked. She thinks 'outside of the box'".

One of Mrs. Maine's former students was pregnant. This student knew she couldn't care for the baby, but adoption agencies were expensive, and the young lady was overwhelmed by all the choices.  She and her mother approached Mrs. Maine, hoping to find a solution.

Counselors have lists of agencies to refer to for every situation, and Mrs. Maine usually creates her own lists or solutions. She knew of a gay couple who wanted to adopt, but at the time, they were having trouble doing so. Mrs. Maine contacted this couple and a lawyer, and long story short, the adoption took place when the baby was born. Prior to her child's birth, the student had time to get to know the birth parents. She knew her baby would be taken care of, and she could finish high school without the burden of caring for a child or worrying about if she was okay.

During this process, Mrs. Maine counseled this young lady to ensure another unwanted pregnancy did not happen. She did all of this for a student who was no longer "hers," so the counseling was after-hours.

"Going above and beyond is who Melanie Maine is," said Branch. "She knew if she did not help, the girl would most likely give birth, drop out of school, have to depend on food stamps, etc. She knew the family was in dire straits and went outside the box. In the end, she made two families very happy."

Mrs. Maine is now an Intervention Counselor at a high school. If a solution does not exist, she works tirelessly to find one. She networks with other counselors, therapists,  doctors, lawyers--you name it. If she thinks someone has a solution, she contacts them. What makes her innovative is that she does the legwork to get solutions. Instead of merely providing parents with a "referral list" with contacts they can reach out to, Mrs. Maine calls those contacts herself to make sure they would help, and then send the students or parents.

"In a day and age when knowing families well doesn't often happen, Melanie makes it a point to know them. The family might not always be part of the problem, but they are most certainly are part of the solution," said Branch. "I think the title of Intervention Counselor was created with her in mind. She is not conventional, she speaks her mind (loudly at times if you are not listening), and she is 100% a student advocate. She is a LifeChanger, and more importantly, a LifeSaver."

Comments (56)

Lily Chinn Posted 9 months ago

Melanie is our go-to when our kids need help. I know that anytime I am concerned about a kid, I can reach out to her and she is going to do everything she can to help the student. Not only that, but her door is an open door for any staff member as well who may be going through a hard time. I have told her before that I don’t know how she does it because I see her do so much yet I know l only see a small piece of all the aspects of her job. She is an essential part of our school, I am grateful for her and for her impact on our kids and their families.

Jana Stone Posted 9 months ago

I don’t understand how one person can do all the things that Melanie does daily to advocate for kids, help those who are hurting ( students, families and teachers) and empower others to make real and positive change, but I have seen first hand what a dynamo she is! I’ve seen that the norm for her is to treat every person as valuable, to patiently listen and help others- even when that is after hours or means that she doesn’t get lunch that afternoon because there just wasn’t enough time in the day and she chose to help someone else instead of taking it easy. I value and respect her judgement. Her servant heart for kids inspires us all. If she comes across your path, your life has just been changed for the better if you are for kids. For those education professionals that suffer our own kind of PTSD because of what we see, know and fight against to care for our “kids”, Melanie is a lifesaver and helps us through this so that, we too are healthy and can champion our students. So blessed to get to work with her and also to call her my friend!

Toni Thompson Posted 10 months ago

How many times can I comment? Home visits after school hours? Letting kids sleep in your office because it’s the only safe place they have, buying school supplies, offering encouragement to LGBTQAI community, and always ALWAYS willing to do more with a huge heart and beautiful smile. Congratulations friend you deserve this ??????

Christine Magryta Posted 10 months ago

Melanie and I work together to find the best solutions for the most difficult students. She will not quit or give up on any student and I admire her so much! When I have a situation in my office that seems dire, I call Melanie because the student trusts me to take of them and I know we need the support of Melanie!

Christine Magryta Posted 10 months ago

Melanie Maine changes lives every day! She is my go to person when I’m figuring out the most difficult students or ones who need the most! She is always willing to do whatever is needed to make a difference! I couldn’t do my job effectively without Melanie. We are a partnership that is fierce!!

Angela Miller Posted 10 months ago

Melanie is an amazing person and counselor. I teach kids that tend to have more than their fair share of personal drama and she is always their- to help me know the right things to say and help kids with their own feelings. She is not afraid to speak up to parents, to teachers or to kids. She’s even helped me with one of my own teens when she went through a difficult time. She is very deserving of this award!

Liz Asher Posted 10 months ago

I first became aware of Melanie Maine years ago when I was a substitute teacher at Central High School. I didn't know much about her, only that she was a counselor. Later, I became a CASA ( court appointed special advocate) and I was at a loss of where to start and what to do. She helped me so much with learning how to advocate for underprivileged kids. She was a force to contend with and I knew I could always go to her when I needed help in finding my way in navigating a very flawed system. She is the most selfless human being I have ever met and any person that goes into her office becomes changed for the better when they leave.

Angela Newby Posted 10 months ago

I was blessed to be able to be a teacher at Sam Houston Middle School while Melanie was a counselor there. Melanie worked hard to bridge gaps for our students and always went above and beyond. For our staff Melanie was always there to make sure we were healthy as well so we could pour more into our students. The lasting legacy though of my time at Sam Houston was the diversity class that Melanie led. For me, I was a young teacher who had not experienced much life outside of the comfort of my own social circles, which was the biggest disservice to my students. Our diversity group taught me to be a better person and to not be okay with what society was telling us about diversity. The best part about Melanie though is that no matter how much time has passed since we have worked together, I know that she will always be there not only for me, but for any of her people! She is beyond amazing and I am blessed to know her.

Jessie Vance Posted 10 months ago

Mrs. Maine could not be more deserving of this award, I met Melanie when my daughters went to Sam Houston Junior High School and she is way more than a counselor, she is a shoulder to cry on for these kids, she is a listening ear always without question, she is an advocate for every child that comes to her and my daughter became a teenager mother and Melanie showed up to my daughter's baby shower and never looked down on my daughter and never question my daughter, she gave her sound advice and then my next daughter had her as a counselor and my girls love this lady with all their heart and to this day my oldest granddaughter is 10 years old and Melanie still communicates with my oldest daughter and with my other daughter, she is an amazing woman, counselor, nurturer, and a blessing to anyone that comes in contact with her.

Mitzi Cook Posted 10 months ago

I've known Melanie for 3 years, and I've heard stories of her impact. I would definitely want her to be in my child's corner.

Amy Gilbert Posted 10 months ago

I have known Ms. Maine for so many years and worked with her at Sam Houston in Irving. She has a wonderful and giving heart. She always puts her "kids" matter what...and her adult friends, too. She is one person you always want on your side. I've seen her work wonders with so many students that most people gave up on. She is a wonderful counselor and friend.

Julia Reneau Posted 10 months ago

I am blessed to not only call Melanie coworker but friend. Her door is always open whether it’s a student or a teacher. We all have struggles and Melanie is always there to listen, advise and if nothing else just give a hug. She is not just a life changer but she was a game changer when she came to CentrL. Telling parents and students not only what they wanted to hear but what they needed to hear. Love her ??

Jen Cowen Posted 10 months ago

Life changer is an excellent word to describe Melanie Maine because that’s what she does every day - changes lives for the better. She works tirelessly to help students who may or may not be hers. From the students at her school, those at other schools, and those she may just see out in the community, she is never one to shy away from helping them if she sees they are in need. Some may call her methods unconventional- I say life changing and ALWAYS what’s best for kids regardless of anything else. Her heart for kids is so huge and seems bottomless. She is a voice of reason that provides guidance and mentor ship to adults she works with and she never speaks with any type of “know it all” (even though she probably does!). She is approachable, caring and compassionate. Above all, she inspires daily! I’m blessed to know her, have worked with her, & most importantly call her a friend. She has changed my life and so many others for the better.

Christina Jones Posted 10 months ago

Problem solver, thinker, truth teller, brevity bringer, life changer indeed! Melanie does not settle for mediocrity in her passion nor in her practice. She is wise, and more than willing to be there for her students and clients no matter the circumstance. What an deserving honor for Mrs. Maine!

Idalina Posted 10 months ago

I cannot say enough positive things about Melanie. She is always willing to help any and all students. I have reached out to her numerous times about students who she is not directly working with and is ALWAYS willing to help or support!

Jennie Wakeley Posted 10 months ago

I cannot count how many times I have gone to Melanie for help with a student in need of extra support. She is an absolutely amazing resource for our students, but also for our staff. I’m not sure I could have gotten through last year with my sanity still intact without her. I am truly blessed to have her as a coworker and friend.

Stormy Askew Posted 10 months ago

Mrs. Maine helped me so much during my senior year of high school. It was a rough time as I was getting bullied constantly. She was able to have security guards escort me to class at one point but they were far enough away so it wasn’t embarrassing. My best friend, Mrs. Maine, and Mr. Dittrich and I made up the GSA club (Gay straight alliance) and it was helpful having that in the school. A safe place for anyone in the LGBT community. I was very glad to be a part of it and I am so happy for Mrs. Maine to be nominated for this award. She deserves it!

Pam King Posted 10 months ago

Melanie has the biggest heart for kids. She goes above and beyond to help her students, and Parents. She has a wonderful sense of humor, and can relate to all students and make them feel comfortable in difficult times. Her day never ends at 4:00 She has truly found her calling in life, and it shows in her work everyday.

Mary Harris Posted 10 months ago

She made sure we were good on school supplies, and holiday meals! I was a stay at home mom with a special needs child and those were the hardest times for us. She always seemed to keep an eye out for my kids, to keep them from slipping thru the cracks. I love this woman like family!

Deborah Lawson Posted 10 months ago

Melanie, who is my neighbor, saw a need for an Alateen program at Central and together we made it happen. In other areas, this sort of thing doesn’t seem to work out. Too many obstacles. But Melanie doesn’t let that stop her. She finds a way for the sake of the kids.

LaShara Webster Posted 10 months ago

I absolute love Ms. Maine. She always has time to listen and guide you to find the best of yourself.

Brytne Arlington Posted 10 months ago

Mrs. Maine is such an amazing counselor! I met her when I attended Sam Houston Middle School in Irving, Texas! She was my counselor through my 6th and 7th grade year, and I cannot tell you how many times I must have gone to see her. She was always there for me when I really needed her, with listening ears and an open heart like no other counselor I had ever had! My 8th grade year, I moved away to Keller, Texas, and, for obvious reasons, never thought I would ever see Mrs. Maine ever again. Well, my senior year of high school, I attended Keller Central High School, and I walked into the office and saw someone I thought looked familiar, but wasn't sure, until I went and spoke to her and I was so shocked and so excited to see her again! My senior year was filled with trips to her office to have friendly chats and to get any help I needed with dealing with all the stress high school and sometimes homelife could bring, and Mrs. Maine was right there to help guide and push me through! I cannot accurately express with only words, how thankful to her I am and in how many ways she ABSOLUTELY changed my life! Thank you and much love Mrs. Maine!

Ray Alsip Posted 10 months ago

Mrs. Maine was the best counselor I could have asked for in high school. Seeing a positive queer adult influence was monumental for my personal growth. I have always felt loved and supported around Mrs. Maine and I know other students have too. Mrs. Maine helped to restart the Gay-Straight Alliance at my school and that provided a much need space for us kids who felt “different”. To this day (5 years after graduation) I am still in contact with Mrs. Maine and know I can still reach out to her if I ever need anything. Mrs. Maine is a blessing, and Central is so lucky to have her!! She made a lasting positive change in my life.

Matt luevano Posted 10 months ago

Melanie main is awesome, I met her when I was in high school. I had recently just returned from being suspended... first thing they did was pull me into her room my first day back and I was angry. Extreamly defensive on why I would already be back in the office she explained to me what she does and how she is there to help. It was very easy to open up and be happy I got pulled into her office that day. Its the people like her that helped kids like me make it into adulthood successfully even when there was no faith in myself to do so. So thanks to mrs main I love you.

Michelle Mayfield Posted 10 months ago

Melanie is an amazing counselor but what sets her apart is her passion for helping kids. She goes above and beyond on a daily basis for not just her kids at her school, but is always willing to help at other campuses. She is the epitome of selfless and is extremely worthy of this award!

Melanie Sotero Posted 10 months ago

2 OF MY 3 boys had Ms. MAINE. I was having alot of difficulty getting help for my youngest who was dealing with ADHD AND ODD. When his pediatrician refused to help bc she considered it mental and not physical, Ms Maine went out out of her way for a child that was not even a jr high student yet. She just cared enough to help me help him get treatment. He still uses that dr today.

Nora Smith Posted 10 months ago

Over 5 years ago, I underwent 4 surgeries and 5 hospital visits in 9 months, due to surgeries on my foot. I am a very active person and this was a very horrible experience since I was limited in my mobility and the complications which led to an amputation. One day I get a phone call from a lady who said she has be hired by my friend, Melanie Maine, to come and give my house a thorough cleaning. I just started crying. I couldn't believe anyone would do that for me. Yes, needless to say, my house needed a thorough cleaning and it was and is the only time I have ever had someone come in to clean it. Melanie is a person I taught with for many years and I have seen how much she cares and sacrifices for her students and helps anyone in need. She definitely deserves an award for being a life changer of so many people, not only students, but friends.

Alexis Hudgins Posted 10 months ago

This women is a life saving, wonderful miracle. I met her when I was in middle school and I was at the worst time in my life. She made me see that if I just kept going I would find my way. She helped my family and many other families. She is so strong and no mater what she always has a smile or a helping hand to lend. She never gives up on anyone, she has the biggest heart of anyone I know. She is just and all around amazing person.

Berenice Moreno Posted 10 months ago

Where can I even began . Mrs Maine is an Angel on earth . She is one of the most caring people I know. She will take the shirt off her back to give to you . I’ve known her since I was in 8th grade . She was my middle school counselor. I am now 30 years old and I have kept contact with her ever since . She helped me in so many ways . She talked to me when I wanted to have an abortion back when I was 15 years old and pregnant . She’s one of the reasons why my daughter is here . I am forever grateful for her wise words. She also recently helped me out as an adult when my husband and myself where going through a financial struggle . If there is anyone that deserves this award is Mrs Maine. She is always there to listen without being judged and always has some encouraging and helpful advice for you . She is loved by so many . Her students are very lucky to have her .

Mayra Posted 10 months ago

My greatest memory growing up is having Mrs Maine as a counselor at Sam Houston. Mrs Maine always encouraged self love and owning your personality. As I grew up I always thought of Mrs Maine and the huge impact she had on who I am today. I adopted her selfless love and acceptance and still use it til this day. She showed that no matter your age you are worthy of respect and understanding. I recall returning to Sam Houston just to say hello to Mrs Maine because letting go wasn’t an option and updates on life were a requirement from both of us. I am honored to say a few words on why I believe she is a great candidate. Mrs Maine has always been selfless caring and love able and this is well deserved and long overdue!

Rachel Fulton Posted 10 months ago

I have had the honor and privilege to work with Melanie for the last two years. I learn from Melanie on a daily basis and admire her passion for the job. Her job doesn’t end when she walks out the doors. She is willing to help her students, parents, and colleagues at anytime. What I admire most about Melanie is her willingness to fight for what is best for students despite the roadblocks she may encounter or what is popular. She is a life changer indeed,and I couldn’t think of anyone more deserving!

Alyssa Aguillon Posted 10 months ago

I've had the privilege of working with Melanie on 2 campuses in 2 different school districts. She is an amazing advocate for kids and their families. She has the biggest heart for helping, and she refuses to give up until the kids have been taken care of, which often goes beyond the years they are students on her campus. Once a student is one of her 'kids,' they're always one of her 'kids.'

Amanda Pullen Posted 10 months ago

I can’t think of anyone more deserving then Melanie. She has been there for my self & my kids countless times. She is there to listen anytime & I've never felt judged. Being a parent to a teenager is the hardest thing I’ve been through. She’s there for her students when the parents are not & she helps the parents who have no clue what we are doing. I would not want her job. She truly loves these kids & helps them to see their value & worth. She is truly changing the lives of the kids who are our future.

Sara Moltenbrey Posted 10 months ago

This is truly a well deserved! Melanie has a huge heart and I have witnessed this time and again when she goes above and beyond to support students. She fits this description perfectly when it comes to her students “where there’s a will there’s a way” because she works tirelessly to help students have better outcomes.

Dana Boyles Posted 10 months ago

Melanie changes lives. She sees students and situations as people to be loved and helped. She doesn't see them as a number. She goes the extra mile... above and beyond. When given a chance to help a student and family, Melanie is all-in. She doesn't stop with suggestions. She dives in and connects the family with the resources. Once that connection is made, she stays involved until the family is receiving the help they need. She doesn't accept 'no' or 'we can't' - when it comes to getting a student help. When the situation is safe and settled, Melanie continues to care and support the student and their family for the duration. She has endless energy and determination. She isn't just a crisis intervention counselor. She has heart and loves people. Her students know that. Her colleagues know that. Melanie Maine does whatever it takes to change lives.

Angela Maine Posted 10 months ago

My sister is always looking to help kids. There is not a kid that she turns away or gives up on. Even when our mom passed away last month she was helping kids and families. She was grieving herself but that didnt matter.This was a true testament that she loves what she does.

Francine Lalande Posted 10 months ago

Melanie is one of a kind. She is as tenacious as they come when it comes to helping students, families, teammates, and friends. She brings her “A” game to school and life everyday as she tackles what others might see as impossible situations. Her efforts are tireless and her intent is genuine. All of us who work with her know we are better people because of her influence.

Lisa Cherryhomes Posted 10 months ago

As a new counselor, I could not have been more fortunate to get to work with and learn from such a dedicated and caring person. Melanie has a gift for connecting with people and I have never seen someone who didn’t feel instantly comfortable and open with her. She is also an amazing support and resource to the staff she works with. There is no one more deserving of this award!

Melody Turner Posted 10 months ago

I am so blessed to share the same school with Melanie, she is literally "dynamite" when it comes to helping her students and teachers. Melanie will explode into action to be sure there is successful outcomes for everyone involved in a situation. She has a passion that is seen every minute of every day in her work and in her care for others. I am thankful to share this campus with her and I am so grateful for everything she does for us. Melanie, you are a "LIFECHANGER" for sure!

Hannah Bing Posted 10 months ago

Melanie is a blessing to all of her students, teammates, and community!

Heather Witzke Posted 10 months ago

Melanie is a rare treasure. She is such a strong advocate for children and is always finding ways to think outside the box. Melanie is easy to connect with because of her humor, kind heart and creative approach to helping anyone in need. Our team is so much better because she is part of it.

Mandy Ebner Posted 10 months ago

Melanie is all in whenever it comes to helping. Her dedication and passion toward helping is really who she is, it is her motto and her mantra. She amazes me with all that she does and with the energy she somehow manages to bring over and over again. She is definitely a life changer and deserving of this award.

Mariah Snapp Posted 10 months ago

Melanie is very passionate about her work with our students. She is a well deserving nominee. She is passionate about being able to help others and always goes above and beyond.

Madeleine Savage Posted 10 months ago

I've known Melanie for years and have watched her go above and beyond for the families she serves. She's got a great way of connecting with kids and I'm so glad I have the chance to work with her!

Leslie McGuffin Posted 10 months ago

Melanie is an amazing advocate for students and families! She has a beautiful heart and is always willing to give of her time and herself to help others! I am blessed to know and work with her!

Danny Ross Posted 10 months ago

Melanie is a passionate and outstanding advocate for kids and families. I have seen her work with numerous students. I often admire her ability to go into tough situations when advocating for students. Melanie will place everything on the line for her students to make sure that their needs are met. Melanie has valuable resources and skills that make her a valuable asset to Keller ISD and the community at large. I am so honored that I had the opportunity to work with Mrs. Maine. Thanks so much for your continued efforts to see students excel.

Tishara Jackson Posted 10 months ago

"Though she be small, she is mighty." Melanie is definitely a force and influence for positive change. She is a powerful advocate for her students, school staff, and the counseling profession. I have seen her face great obstacles, without backing down, in order to ensure that decisions and actions are made in the best interests of her students. I am glad she is a part of our intervention counseling team.

Shelly Farmer Posted 10 months ago

Melanie is an amazing person and counselor! She is a huge advocate for the students and families. Melanie is dedicated and passionate and a great support for all.

Mariah Snapp Posted 10 months ago

Melanie is a huge advocate for our students. She is very passionate of the work she does and a very well deserving nominee.

Michelle Zimmerman Posted 10 months ago

Melanie is such a great advocate for students across KISD. She is also a wonderful representation of what all counselors should strive to be.

Erin Poage Posted 10 months ago

Such a deserving nominee. Melanie is so selfless and is always willing to support and care for others! Thank you for all the support, both professional and personal, over the years!

Andi Posted 10 months ago

What a well deserved honor. She is always a huge advocate for kids, passionate in serving others, and a huge support. #LCOY

Lauren TeGantvoort Posted 10 months ago

Melanie is a fierce advocate for her students & families! She will go far beyond her job description to provide support for those who walk into her office. Her passion and determination move mountains for those kids. I don't think you can count the number of kids whose lives have been changed because of her & I am thankful to be able to work with such a dedicated counselor.

Becky Southard Posted 10 months ago

I am so blessed to be able to work with Melanie Maine. She has the biggest heart and is so dedicated to the students and families that she serves. I admire her so very much and she never ceases to amaze me by her passion and energy for the counseling profession. She is definitely a life changer in every way.

Robin Barr Posted 10 months ago

Melanie cares for kids with all her heart. She will advocate strongly to help meet the needs of students in the midst of their chaos so that they can ultimately feel worthy & capable of more. More than they ever thought was possible. She is a blessing to those who know her!

Marcene Weatherall Posted 10 months ago

Melanie is indeed a LifeChanger in so many ways! She is unique in her approach to address student and family issues and innovative in her ideas. She is a strong advocate for the underdog and will knock down doors to save lives. I am honored to have her on my team and learn from her!