Dedication, Perseverance and Devotion: A Feature on Melanie Lynch

Helena Haynes, Staff Writer

When thinking about what goes into being a great teacher, most people think of someone who genuinely cares about the well being of their students and wants them to take away valuable information from their class. Melanie Lynch is definitely someone who has these qualities. In early April, Lynch received the National Health Education Teacher of the Year award. “When I heard my name, it was surreal,” said Lynch. To get an award like this one, Lynch doesn’t just teach, she does many other things such as traveling around the country talking to other Health teachers. She also writes about Health and helps create lesson plans that she shares with others, she has also gotten book offers.

When in the running to receive the award of Nation Health Teacher of the Year, Lynch says that there was a lot of reflection that she had to do and a lot of writing. Teachers were also required to film a lesson plan. “I think what I learned is to be easier on yourself,” said Lynch, “All of the teachers are doing a good job but we’re always trying to be better.”

Lynch has been teaching at State High for 20 years and she absolutely loves her job. She continues to try to find more ways to teach her students and come up with more lessons plans, “I never take my Health Ed lenses off, I always look through everything through the lense of a health teacher, even in my personal life,” said Lynch. As a teacher, she is always trying to create new things that will help her students learn. Things that Lynch sees in her everyday life inspire her in new lessons that she is coming up with. She wants to have lessons that aren’t just content driven, but skills driven.

With so many students here at State High, teachers are able to interact with and teach many of them. The students are definitely Lynch’s favorite part about teaching.  “Interacting with students is my favorite part, if all I need was show up, taught, and then left, I don’t think I could get through a semester,” said Lynch. Being a health teacher is like selling a lifestyle to students, “I think of myself as a life coach,” said Lynch.

In ninth grade, Lynch had a teacher that really made a difference in her life. This teacher was who inspired Lynch to become a teacher herself. “It only takes one adult, and if I could do that for one kid, it’s worth going to college, and once I got into this job, I realized this is a great job,” said Lynch. Growing up, Lynch didn’t have a very good life at home so her only trusted adult was her favorite teacher at school. Lynch wants to be that trusted adult for her students.

Something very important that Lynch is passionate about teaching, is body image. She wants students to know that they are more than the size of their jeans or the color of their hair. Self love is overall something that Lynch really wants her students to take away from her class, “I think that if they understand how valuable they are and truly love themselves, they’ll take care of themselves.” said Lynch.

In her free time, Lynch enjoys participating in roller derby and she uses the roller derby name “Pinky Balboa”. She thinks of it as a great way to relieve and manage her stress. “In derby you fall down over and over again, but it’s as long as you get back up,” said Lynch. Lynch also thinks it helped contribute to winning her award, “I don’t think I would’ve done some of the things that led to Teacher of the Year if I hadn’t played derby,” said Lynch.

You might be wondering, what comes next for Lynch? She is planning to work on more publications and work with other teachers. She wants to give other teachers her lesson plans so she can share her success. Even with all of the new amazing opportunities, Lynch will always continue to teach and inspire new students every year. “I like doing the other things like the writing and the public speaking but it’s more of just a filler,” said Lynch. She claims that without actually teaching, she couldn’t come up with new lesson plans because students change so much every year. Lynch continues to follow her path of teaching and influencing her students, because, “it only takes one adult” to change a student’s life.