Melissa is a Bay Area native who ventured to Malibu and Florence, Italy to pursue her undergraduate degree in International Studies from Pepperdine University. Upon graduating, she worked as a community educator and advocate for a non-profit organization and later tried her hand at corporate retail in San Francisco managing multi-million dollar product lines. The pull towards education became strong as she sought greater personal meaning in her work and she changed course to become an elementary school teacher. She received her Multiple Subject teaching credential from San Jose State University where she became an ardent supporter of progressive education, focusing on social-emotional learning and differentiated instruction, as well as being an outspoken teacher-leader. She taught at progressive public schools in San Jose surrounded by best-in-class colleagues, mentors and parent supporters where she leveraged those strong relationships to impact student’s lives.
Melissa found Fusion by chance while looking for opportunities to work in an individualized setting and knew immediately both the learning environment and unique culture was a perfect complement to her educational philosophy. She became a part-time teacher and observed the profound impact the one-to-one setting had on her students firsthand while simultaneously leading Training and Development and People Operations for an educational startup in the area.
After a year at Fusion, she left the classroom and other teaching endeavors to share Fusion’s powerful model with families and community members as the Director of Admissions and Outreach. For the last year and a half, she has forged strong relationships with current and prospective families as well as clinical and educational professionals. She is eager continue fostering these relationships and to draw upon her educational and management expertise as the Head of School at the Los Gatos campus.
When Melissa is away from school, she can often be spotted on Santa Cruz beaches with her husband and two Australian Shepherds, hiking her favorite dog-friendly trails and working on projects for her high-maintenance mountain home.