Minton wins teacher of year

Chemistry teacher receives award for dedication


Chemistry teacher Melissa Minton recieves a card and flowers from Principal Jared McEvoy. “It took me by surprise,” Minton said. Minton was recognized as teacher of the year.

Ava Kaspari, Editor

Chemistry teacher Melissa Minton won teacher of the year award.
“When I was a little girl, I would raise my hand. It wasn’t to get attention; it was because I wanted to teach everybody what I had learned,” Minton said.
Minton was nominated for the teacher of the year award by fellow chemistry teacher Kelly Swanson and math teacher Kevin Dolan.
“It took me by surprise. It was an honor to be nominated,” Minton said.
Originally, she wanted to teach biology because it was her first love. When the chemistry portion of biology ended, she realized she missed it and decided to pursue chemistry instead.
“I love teaching chemistry because at some point in the year, a kid is going to find something they can do. Whether it’s the VSEPR (valence shell electron pair repulsion) shapes or it’s the math because some kids love math,” Minton said.
Minton is passionate about chemistry because it’s engaging, fun and involves critical thinking. Those are the types of things she likes to see students learn to do.
“Mrs. Minton really cares for her students a lot,” AP chemistry senior Lydia Correa said. “I like having Mrs. Minton as a teacher because of her empathy for other people and knowing how to deal with all different situations within the class.”
Minton goes out of her way to help students and spends time outside of school, offering assistance and expertise. After school she holds study sessions prior tests, for AP students and regular chemistry classes, too.
“Mrs. Minton is a good teacher because she knows the content,” Swanson said. “She cares about the students and she finds good activities that link learning to the students’ success.”
Minton and Swanson have worked alongside each other for 24 years in the chemistry department and the two became close colleagues because of their shared work.
“I know how hard she works and how much she does for the science department and NHS [National Honors Society], and I thought it was time that she’d be nominated,” Swanson said.
Principal Jared McEvoy shared the news with Minton privately, before announcing her award to the school.
“When he told me, I felt humbled and a little embarrassed because we teach chemistry as a team at Eisenhower. And I feel like when you’re recognizing one member of the team, it could make the other members feel bad; but I know how brilliant all my co-workers are. I really wish we could all get this award,” Minton said.
Minton was previously nominated for Utica Teacher of the Year and although she did not win it, she has always had the same approach to teaching.
“I’m going to be myself and be my authentic self. And I’m going to continue to teach chemistry in a variety of ways,” Minton said.
Minton assigns labs, puzzles and gizmos, in addition to lectures.
“I am going to continue to be the same teacher I’ve always been and I can never take the foot off the pedal. Just keep pressing and going forward,” Minton said. “Because that’s what kids want, they want teachers who work hard.”