Helping high school students understand and even enjoy chemistry is incredibly challenging, and even more rewarding. My goal is for my students to see themselves as scientists!”

Melissa’s Story

Teaching Discipline


Why Chemistry

Chemistry can be an incredibly challenging subject for students to understand, but it’s also an elegant and fascinating area of study. Getting to help students see that beauty and connect with the challenges of chemistry is so incredibly rewarding.

Professional Experience

Prior to pursuing education as a profession, Melissa worked at a small butterfly research center in Costa Rica. After experiencing life in the jungle, Melissa returned to the United States to pursue her Master of Arts with Certification program at Stanford University. Upon completion of the program, she taught chemistry full time in Atherton, California before relocating to Oregon. In Oregon, she accepted a full time chemistry teacher position at McKay High School in Salem. In addition to teaching, Melissa is working with other science teachers in her district to support them in using a modeling approach to teaching science.


When Melissa isn’t teaching, she spends her time running with her dog, backpacking with her husband, completing long distance bike rides in the beautiful Oregon rain, or teaching exercise classes at the local Barre3 studio.

Academic Background

  • Stanford University (Master of Arts in Education, Teaching of Chemistry)
  • University of California, Santa Cruz (Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology)