Melissa taught middle school social studies and language arts for fifteen years and holds a BA in teaching social studies from the University of Minnesota-Duluth. As a teacher, she developed student-centered curriculum inclusive of individual stories and absent narratives, having participated in the Minnesota Humanities Center’s Absent Narrative Institute. She believes in empowering students to be changemakers by facilitating discovery of themselves, others, and the world around them. To that end, she has been an advisor to her former school’s Gender-Sexuality Alliance, Student Council, and Environmental Action Club. She was also on the Equity and Inclusion Committee for her school and the planning committee for the Progressive Education Network’s national conference. Outside of her work, Melissa enjoys being outdoors, cooking/baking, and volunteering as a master gardener.