Announcing February’s Volunteer of the Month

February blessed us with another day this year (hello, Leap Day!), and what better use of that extra time than celebrating our next ATPE Volunteer of the Month? Nominees for Volunteer of the Month are those who go above and beyond the call of duty in their commitment to ATPE and public education—volunteers who exhibit outstanding leadership and tireless efforts.
Meet our February 2020 Volunteer of the Month, Melissa McNaley of Ballinger ATPE. Melissa has been teaching third grade math at Ballinger Elementary for five years, and she’s also been an ATPE member for five years. This is her first year as local unit president.
Why did you choose ATPE?
I chose ATPE because I wanted to be part of an organization with great benefits and to have the peace of mind that I have support when I need it. I also wanted to be in an organization that has an active local group where I could share experiences with other educators.
What is your favorite part of your job?
My favorite part of being a teacher is helping students learn. I love to see the “light bulb” go off when a student understands a concept. I want all my students to be successful—not just in my classroom, but also in life—and to achieve their goals.
What advice would you give to a new educator coming into your position?
Educators are one big family. We must use teamwork to help our students—and ourselves—learn. I would tell them to be open to ideas from others and be willing to share their own ideas. By working together, we can help everyone learn and become better.
What is the most important thing you wish someone would have told you when you started  your career?
I wish I would have been told about how much teachers must be flexible from day to day. It’s OK to leave school without everything on your to-do list completed. You don’t have to get everything done in one day. As educators, we wear many hats. Every day is new and exciting. We all have challenging days, but we are making a difference and helping our students grow and learn.
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Karen Hames Posted On: March 1, 2020
Way to go, Melissa!

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