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Boshears "Teacher of The Year" Melodie Washburn


Melodie Washburn

I was born and raised in Tahlequah, Oklahoma which is a small-ish town (population of around 17,000) located in the northeastern part of Oklahoma. Growing up, I loved going to the skating rink (jam skating was my thing!), riding my bike, and swimming or floating the river. Throughout my middle school and high school years, I participated in cross country, track, and cheerleading before graduating from Tahlequah High School in 2006.

Immediately following my high school graduation, I moved to Hawaii and attended Chaminade University of Honolulu. I received a scholarship for running on Chaminade’s cross country team which allowed me to travel to other states for cross country meets. While attending the university, I worked part time in a biology lab and worked a few hours a week for the environmental science dean, who recommended me to a summer internship program called UMEB (Undergraduate Mentoring Environmental Biology). After two years of attending Chaminade and completing my summer internship, I decided to change my major from Environment Science to Education. It was then that I transferred to Rhode Island College, which is known for its great special education program. After three years of attending Rhode Island College, I graduated in 2011 with a degree in Elementary Education with a concentration in Special Education.

After graduating from college, I moved to Plano, Texas and worked for a year as an ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) therapist before beginning my teaching career at Plano ISD. In August of 2012 I was hired as a special education teacher at Mitchell Elementary School and worked as a resource teacher. My first year at Mitchell, I was nominated as the “beginning teacher of the year” and had the excitement of having my own parking space for an entire year ()! After two years at Mitchell, I was ready to be near some family so I decided to move to Tyler and work for Tyler ISD. I knew before moving that I wanted to work for Boshears Center for Exceptional Programs so I contacted the principal at the time, Denese Johnson, and was so lucky that there was an elementary teacher position opening! I have been so blessed that Boshears gave me a chance in this new learning opportunity. This is my 5th year as a teacher at Boshears and there is no place I’d rather be.

I was interested in being a teacher at Boshears for many reasons, personal and professional. The biggest reason is that I absolutely love getting to spend my days with special needs students…they teach me so much! The most important values that I have learned from them are patience and understanding...and that each student is so unique in the way they learn which requires us teachers to “think outside of the box”. I love that the teachers at Boshears have the freedom to pour in so much creativity in our everyday teaching experiences!

Outside of work, I enjoy spending time with my husband (who I met at church after moving to Tyler) …he is the best husband in the world! Together we enjoy hanging out with our family and friends, house projects, and taking our two dogs, Melvin and Myla, to different parks and hiking trails (more like walking trails in East Texas). I look forward to what else God has in store for me, but in the meantime...I will continue to strive to be a better person and teacher every day in every way.