Lake Ridge’s Melissa Preudhomme is where she always wanted to be
Lake Ridge third grade teacher Melissa Preudhomme knew she wanted to be a teacher, even before she was out of elementary school. She fondly recalls pretending to play school and always being the teacher with her family and friends.
“I always wanted to be in the educational setting, ever since I was a little girl,” Preudhomme said through a smile. “I remember forcing my cousins to play school and pretending to grade worksheets. I would get really mad at them if they wanted to quit.”
So to an outsider, it may be no surprise that she earned the honor of Johnson City Schools’ Teacher of the Year (K-4), along with Nicole Havert (5-8) and Dr. David Burgin (9-12). But Preudhomme was still pretty surprised.
“I felt honored, of course, but I didn’t feel any more worthy of the honor than anybody else,” she said. “I think that it could be anyone of my colleagues at any given point of time. But it is a real blessing and I am very appreciative.”
Even though Preudhomme has always been pulled toward the classroom, it isn’t where she started her professional career. First, she spent some time as an entrepreneur and working in a daycare before returning to school to finish her bachelors and masters degrees at Milligan College. Spending time as a Response to Intervention (RTI) assistant at Woodland Elementary reinforced where Preudhomme wanted to be.
“I just feel like everyone is made and created for a certain purpose,” Preudhomme said. “We all have our own special mix of ingredients. I’ve always had a strong interest in working with children and I’ve been able to communicate with them well.”
Preudhomme is in her fourth year of teaching third grade at Lake Ridge and she said that she has enjoyed every minute. The part she enjoys the most is building relationships with students.
“Having strong relationships with my students has a powerful impact on their ability to learn from me,” Preudhomme said. “The more they trust me and know that I truly care, the more willing they are to hear what I have to offer them academically.
Sometimes that is challenging, so she tries to pull students in for lunch or go to extracurricular and athletic events to show her support.
“I want to be an excellent professional and do my best in teaching them,” Preudhomme said. “I want to be the teacher that they remember that loved them, believed in them and cared about them.”