Activities Director, Renaissance Coordinator and AP Literature teacher Melanie “Captain” Lindsey received a pleasant surprise in the midst of her fourth period ASB (Associated Student Body). Principal Joe Bova along with several colleagues and friends entered Lindsey’s classroom to tell her she had been named Jostens Renaissance National Educator of the Year.
Jennifer Duston, ATLAS Elementary School principal and former Foothill Renaissance Coordinator, nominated Lindsey for the award, and Foothill vice principal Lisa Harvill, wrote a letter of recommendation for Lindsey.
According to Bova, the award means that Lindsey is “a leader in the country in terms of activities directors and building positive cultures on campuses.”
When Lindsey was presented with the award, her eyes welled up.
After 17 years of teaching, Lindsey is “humbled” and “surprised” to be the first Foothill teacher to receive this award.
To Lindsey, getting this award means “that the changes you’ve made and the lives that you’ve impacted have meant something.”
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“I’m shaking,” she laughed. “It’s really, really cool because the best of the best people who have taken schools who have massive suspension rates and expulsion rates have completely turned it around” using the Renaissance program.
Since Foothill has had Renaissance since it was founded, Lindsey feels like sometimes “it’s almost taken for granted” because Foothill hasn’t seen the changes Renaissance brings to a school it is foreign to.
However, the Educator of the Year award proved to Lindsey that Renaissance is “not taken for granted, that it is an important, and it gives me the shot in the arm I need to keep going.”