Melissa Schroeder Is January's Above and Beyond Award Winner
Melissa Schroeder, a 5th-grade teacher from Lincoln County, has earned West Virginia Public Broadcasting’s Above and Beyond Award, which recognizes excellence and creativity in and out of the classroom.
Schroeder was presented the award this week at West Hamlin Elementary in Lincoln County, West Virginia. She actually won the award in January, but inclement weather and COVID-19 precautions delayed the presentation. She received a monetary award, our signature Blenko Above and Beyond blue apple paperweight, a certificate of recognition, and a host of other special gifts made possible by the sponsorship of Advantage Technology.
“Every child in my classroom is a unique being with untapped qualities and undiscovered abilities,” Mrs. Schroeder said. “It is my privilege to spend my days both teaching and learning from them. How blessed am I to watch these children grow into young adults that will change our world and shape our future? What an awesome and humbling experience to know that I've had some small impact on their lives while they have changed mine forever!”
Kelly Griffith, WVPB’s Education Director, said Schroeder certainly goes Above And Beyond the call of duty for her students. “Mrs. Schroeder is an absolute gem!" Griffith says. “Her softheartedness and generosity toward students, colleagues and the school community is refreshing. This has been a difficult year for educators, but she makes it look so easy. She continually does the difficult work with kindness and praise and is a great example for all.”
Schroeder was nominated by Mr. Rodney Hoover, her administrator at West Hamlin Elementary, who said the teacher affectionately refers to her students as her “lovelies.”
“Mrs. Schroeder is that teacher that will advocate for every child and be that champion that every kid deserves,” Hoover wrote in his nomination. “Once a child is a student of Mrs. Schroeder's they are always one of her lovelies, and she will follow that student beyond her classroom into adulthood and help any chance that she can.
“Mrs. Schroeder is one of the most giving people that I have ever met. She sacrifices so much of her own time, money, and even health, to be there for children. The greatest compliment that I could give Mrs. Schroeder would be if I had an elementary aged child, I would fight to put my child in her classroom because I know the benefits they would get being with her!"
Schroeder is a Nationally Board-Certified Teacher and has been a standing member on the West Hamlin Elementary Leadership Team for more than 10 years. When the COVID-19 pandemic began, she distributed food and student work three times a week all spring. During summer, she continued to distribute food to families. She also spends hours every day doing live/online instruction with her students. Every day when students enter her room they must go to the How-Am-I Board and check in with how they are feeling that day.
“Mrs. Schroeder is that teacher who will come to my office and REQUEST (more like demand) to have that disadvantaged student that needs that extra attention and love be placed in her classroom,” Hoover said.
She has put herself in charge of purchasing teddy bears to be delivered to students who have experienced the loss of a loved one. She is also in charge of the flower fund for staff members. This year prior to school opening, Schroeder took it upon herself to obtain a list of every student's school email, login, and password so she could change those to kid-friendly passwords because she knew that the scope of education would be evolving into online platforms. West Hamlin Elementary has nearly 450 students.
"There is no one more deserving," Hoover said.
Nominate a creative and excellent teacher like Mrs. Melissa Schroeder.