At Midway High School, Ashley Melendrez enjoys teaching family and consumer sciences.
“Each day I get the pleasure of educating our youth with knowledge they can immediately apply to their life and experiences,” she said.
She never hears questions like “why do I need to learn this” or “when will I ever use this?”In the classes, students look forward to the hands-on experiences. For Melendrez, making a difference in the lives of young people is what Family and Consumer Sciences (FACS) is all about. Melendrez was recently honored as one of the top educators in Sampson County’s School District, after becoming a finalist for Teacher of the Year.
“I feel honored and humbled to be named Midway High School teacher of the year, and even more so to have made the top 3 finalists in Sampson County,” Melendrez said. “It is a privilege to join such a remarkable and distinguished group of educators who represent North Carolina.”
Melendrez believes FACS educates young people about becoming independent, assuming family and community roles, and succeeding the workplace.
“Our classes help prepare students for a variety of careers and every student can greatly benefit from FACS classes, both personally and professionally,” Melendrez said. I love teaching at Midway High School, it is more than a school…it is a community, it is a Family.”
She is now in her fourth year at Midway High School. Before, she taught at Douglas Byrd High School in Cumberland County for two years. The Northern California native earned a degree in human and family sciences from Northeastern State University in Tahlequa, Okla. In the beginning, the classroom was not in her plans at young age, but her family and years of many experiences in social services made her realize education was her true calling.
“My personal experiences throughout my life were instrumental in helping me to understand who I am and what gives me the most joy in life,” she said “I am someone who wants to support and encourage others to do their very best. I am someone who wants to be for my students, what I needed at their age.”
Melendrez moved to North Carolina about eight years ago and is married with four children, Christian, Noah, Halle and Lydian. She’s looking forward to continuing success in education.
“I am very happy in my classroom and have no desires to leave it,” she said. “I can honestly say I will gladly teach for 20 plus years. I do not know a lot of people who are sincerely happy with what they do each day and plan to continue for many more years…for this I feel blessed.”