Staff Spotlight: Melissa Lancaster

Melissa Lancaster Title: Team Lead

Department: Evaluation – Teachers College

Hometown: Kansas City, Missouri

How long have you been working at WGU Missouri? 3 years

What did you do before you started at WGU Missouri? Before transitioning to WGU, I was an elementary teacher for the Independence School District. I taught third and fourth grades.

What was your proudest moment at WGU Missouri? This winter I was prompted to identify a beginning teacher who was also a WGU graduate and could be nominated by our university for the Outstanding Beginning Teacher Award (presented by the Missouri Association of Colleges for Teacher Education). There were many roadblocks along the way, so when I finally connected with a principal who was able to provide a letter of recommendation that I could submit for the award, I felt a huge sense of accomplishment. I am ready to start searching for a nominee for 2019, so if you are a current WGU student who will start teaching this fall or next year, please note that I will be on the lookout for an excellent beginning teacher!

What is your favorite thing about working at WGU Missouri? WGU is truly a great place to work. My colleagues are awesome! I can continue working in the field of education and support students to achieve their dreams of becoming a teacher. I can also spend time with my family and prioritize my schedule as I work from home and set my own hours.

What has impressed you most about working for WGU Missouri? The leadership at WGU is amazing. I have worked on several different teams and I still sing the praises of every supervisor with whom I’ve had the privilege to collaborate.

What have you recently read? I recently finished Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard and I’m currently reading The Sun Also Rises by Hemingway.

What did you want to be when you were growing up? A teacher!

What is your favorite thing to do in your downtime? Spending time with my family, which includes my husband and our 3 young boys, is my favorite thing to do. I enjoy gardening and yoga or any type of fitness training. I also love reading and always have a book close by!

If you could learn any skill instantly what would it be? I would love to have gymnastics skills. I started doing CrossFit and yoga in my thirties, and there are many things, like handstand walks, that I feel would be much easier if I had started doing them when I was younger.

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