Melissa Wilson had a week to remember.
Two days after receiving the “Inspiring Educator” Scholastic Art Award at the Detroit Institute of Arts, Wilson received an elite honor closer to home, named the Lake Orion Community Schools High School Teacher of the Year.
Now in her 21st year as an LOHS art teacher, Wilson continues to distinguish herself as one of the best in her field.
Wilson attended Wayne State University and College for Creative Studies, always with the eye on this career.
“I’ve wanted to be an art teacher since I was in the fourth grade,” said Wilson, who teaches Advanced Placement Art, Drawing 1-4, Perspective, Watercolor and Oil Painting. “I just give this my all. I love the kids and I try really hard for them… You’re constantly trying to just get better, you’re trying to push yourself, push your kids and think of ways to do things better to reach them, to help them grow so they can be their best.”
Her students’ competition results prove her success. But their testimonials may offer even more insight into her ability.
“She’s really an inspiring teacher,” LOHS senior Gabrielle de Veer said. “She works so hard for us. She stays after school for hours and hours so we can get our work done. She pushes us really hard because she knows that’s the only way we’re ever going to get better. And she doesn’t let us get away with doing anything but our best.”
She now advances to the Oakland County High School Teacher of the Year competition, to be determined by Oakland Schools in the coming month.
Wilson’s Scholastic Art Award for the Southeastern Region was the first of its kind and she gave an acceptance speech worthy of the honor Monday night.
With current and former students in attendance, her impact was notable. The event highlighted her students’ annual award production, including 19 Gold Key portfolios in 2016-17.
“It was really inspiring to see her get recognition for that,” LOHS senior Maddie Graham said.