LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Melissa Allen

Position: Reading Teacher
School: Bethune Middle School
School District: Charlton County Schools
City, State: Folkston, GA

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Music that Describes Melissa

Melissa Allen was nominated by an anonymous student.

Mrs. Allen spent her younger years in the small town of Hilliard, FL. She dreamed of changing lives through education, one student at a time. Attending Hilliard Elementary School, she grew fond of her fifth and sixth grade teacher, Mr. Jim Register. He is the inspiration behind her career in helping students to read. He not only inspired her teaching career, but he also gave her the example of what a vibrant, beloved teacher looks like.

Mrs. Allen's first opportunity to help in the classroom started with her high school coach, Coach Roy Marchert. Not only was he her softball coach, but he also taught the special education class. Mrs. Allen had her first opportunity to work with students with disabilities when she was assigned to assist in Coach Marchert's class daily during her junior year of high school. Working with Coach Marchert and his students taught her that every little success is actually a big success, a mistake is just another opportunity to learn, and that we are all valuable and can learn, just not necessarily in the same way or on the same day. The qualities she admired from both Mr. Register and Coach Marchert are the standard qualities she uses in her daily interactions with students.

As a special educator, she treats students and their education slightly different than modern educators. She tries to see school through the vision of the student. She tries not to overwhelm her students with excruciating test grades and assignments. Mrs. Allen focuses on each student as an individual. Mrs. Allen believes in helping students to be their best selves, knowing everyone's best is different. She always says her biggest accomplishments are her students she’s taught. She considers their successes as her greatest contribution to education. Mrs. Allen has received several letters from former students, who told her some of the accomplishments they’ve had because of her influence and help. Various students tell her of the day to day life experiences they face and how her class and her teaching affected them greatly. Her students having their best in life is what she works for. 

"Mrs. Allen has always inspired and supported me in and out of the classroom," said her nominator. "She did not teach me; but she still helped me with my work if I needed it. Her classroom was also a safe environment for me whenever I needed her help with anything. She always made time to help me, and she never let me down. Mrs. Allen is a very dependable person. She not only helps kids be better readers, but she inspires them to give all they have and to always do their best."

Mrs. Allen is a very vibrant and loving person with tons of energy and wisdom. She is one of the most trustworthy people. Mrs. Allen tends to give you her honest opinion, even if it’s not what you want to hear. She likes to create a safe learning environment by connecting with her students. Mrs. Allen likes to celebrate her students' successes. Her laughter and positive attitude create a great environment to learn in.  There are so many students that look up to her and love her dearly.