LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Melanie Tard

Position: ESL (English as a Second Language) Teacher
School: Trenton Ninth Grade Academy
School District: Trenton Public Schools
City, State: Trenton, NJ

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Music that Describes Melanie

Melanie Tard was nominated by Darlene Cheston, a family member.

Mrs. Tard teaches ELLs (English Language Learners) in an urban community. Her students have so much joy in learning and constantly experiencing life as they know it. ELLs must overcome many challenges, including limited schooling, trauma, and poverty. Some ELLs come from countries where education is not mandated. 

Mrs. Tard services high school students who are learning English, and some of her students are in special education. There are ELLs who travel and are constantly moving from one school to another. There are also ELLs who may have attended school in their native country, but the quality of education is less than in the United States. 

Mrs. Tard is always advocating for her students. For example, in March 2020, Mrs. Tard created care packages for 44 students. These care packages included snacks, masks, hand sanitizer, and books so her students could continue to learn at home. They also included family games so students wouldn't get bored while sitting at home during a pandemic. She hand-delivered these packages to the students' homes. Some students were able to line up in the school's parking lot and pick up their packages. Additionally, she recently received over 40 coats, hats, and gloves for her students. She will deliver these hats and coats to their homes before Christmas.

"Mrs. Tard is a true LifeChanger in our community, school, and beyond," said Cheston. "She is constantly supporting her students in many ways. She's always looking for different things to engage her students by giving them incentives so they can learn remotely.  All of her students are learning English as a second language. Mrs  Tard is a LifeChanger."