Melissa is a mother to two sons (one adopted and one bio), a wife, and a life long educator. She began her career as a high school special education teacher working in a self-contained classroom for emotionally challenged young adults. After twelve years in classrooms in all grades 2-12, she became an administrator. During her years serving as an administrator she worked in elementary schools and an alternative school for behaviorally challenged children in grades K-12. She was a behavior modification specialist who provided workshops across the state on meeting the needs of students with challenging behaviors.
In 2001, Melissa and her husband adopted a three-year-old boy from a Bulgarian Orphanage. It was this brave, hurting boy who taught Melissa the value of relationships and the limitations inherent in behavior modification. In searching for ways to heal her son, she began a journey that continues today.
Despite her therapeutic parenting and counseling support, her son struggled to behave and learn in his middle school. It was at this time that Melissa left her career in education to provide full time support to her son. In addition, she began providing professional development on trauma informed classroom strategies to teachers in local school districts and serving as a special education consultant for parents of children who were not receiving appropriate educational programming.
Today Melissa is a published author and education consultant. She is an advocate for trauma informed schools and has produced numerous webinars on the topic. She holds two Masters Degrees and a Doctoral degree in developmental trauma in schools.