While it is truly a wonderful feeling to be recognized for your hard work, the Presidential Award provides me the opportunity to connect with other exemplar teachers from across the nation. The success I find in the classroom is directly attributed to the relationships I make outside of it. The Presidential Award does not only celebrate one teacher, but many because it takes a community to educate our students. I am honored to represent the dedicated and hardworking STEM teachers from Maryland.

Melissa Thompson Baltimore, MD | K-6, Science, 2020

The official biography below was current at the time of the award.

Melissa Thompson has been an educator for 12 years and has spent the last six years teaching elementary and middle school science at Arlington Elementary School 234. She formerly taught at Easton High School for six years. She is currently the STEAM Coordinator at Arlington Elementary teaching Project Lead The Way (PLTW) Computer Science and Engineering courses. Melissa also co-teaches STEM subjects with all grade levels. Melissa is a profound advocate for outdoor and science education. She created the STEAM Taskforce at her school, comprising 12 teachers and para-educators, to coordinate a well-rounded STEAM enrichment curriculum. The STEAM Taskforce facilitates school programs such as beekeeping, composting, hydroponics, animal rehabilitation, animal husbandry (chickens), and a 32-raised bed vegetable and flower garden. During a month-long celebration dubbed “Explorer Month”, Melissa brought in 15 partners and hosted over 60 events for students and teachers to participate. Events included painting with robots and cooking with hydroponic plants. On an annual basis, Melissa facilitates over 100 events for students at the school, bringing in professionals such as a project engineer from Oceaneering, Inc. to work with students. Melissa has served as part of multiple district-level committees for Baltimore City Public Schools and Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) Environmental Literacy Framework Committee. Melissa earned a B.S. in biology; B.S. in science education; and M.S. in computer and mathematical science from the University of Maryland, College Park. She earned her Administration I Certification from Towson University. Melissa is a certified K-12 teacher and is certified to teach general science, chemistry, PLTW and special education.

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