I feel very honored and humbled to receive the Presidential Award and represent my district. I share this award and honor with my colleagues, administrators, and students. Without them challenging and shaping me, I would not be who I am today. I feel this recognition will give me the opportunity to inspire district leaders, teachers, and students to step out of their comfort zones into new and exciting educational endeavors, as I did in the field of Computer Science.

Melissa Zeitz Springfield, MA | K-6, Science, 2018

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

Melissa Zeitz is in her 18th year as a teacher, working the past 14 at Liberty Elementary School and specializing in special education and instructional technology. She currently serves as the Digital Literacy and Computer Science (DLCS) Teacher for kindergarten through fifth grade. She previously taught at Newton Elementary School for one year and at an alternative learning program for three years. Melissa teaches that collaboration, creativity, and problem solving are foundational to student success. Melissa’s love for computer science (CS) empowers her students to succeed, allowing many to step out of their comfort zones and try new things. Melissa has led the way in bringing CS to all as the DLCS for her school. Melissa serves as the technology and curriculum resource coordinator for the CS-for-All Springfield grant and supports teachers in integrating CS into curricula across the district. Melissa has been involved in the International Society for Technology in Education, MassCue, and is a Microsoft Innovator Educator, and currently serves as President of the Computer Science Teacher Association of Western Massachusetts. She earned a B.A. in elementary education and a M.Ed. in education from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She is certified in elementary, instructional technology, digital literacy and computer science, and mild and moderate disabilities.