CHANDLER, AZ – Melanie Alexander has more than one passion. She’s committed to both early childhood education and fashion.
For 23 years, she’s worked with kids in a wide range of settings: private preschools, child care centers and public elementary schools, besides operating her own family child care business. For the past nine years of her career, she has served as a Professional Development Specialist (PDS) and a teacher at Bashar High School here where she teaches both fashion design and all levels of early childhood education.
It’s a role that fits her like a glove since she knows the field from the bottom up. And you have to take your hat off to her for all she has achieved. She began her career with a Child Development Associate (CDA®) credential and went on to earn an associate’s and bachelor’s degree in early childhood development and leadership. She even completed a master’s degree in early childhood education, but she’s still proud of having earned her CDA many years ago. And she encourages all her students to do the same.
When she talks about her current work, it’s clear that she wears her heart on her sleeve.
“I work with individual students,” she said, “to make a difference in their lives and future careers in early childhood. I believe every student is unique and can use their special gifts to make a difference in the field of early childhood education.”
And Alexander, herself, has kept making a difference in several ways while she continues to teach. She has run the local chapter of Family, Career and Community Leaders of America, a national nonprofit career and technical student group that helps young people expand their leadership potential and develop skills for life. She has represented her school district in statewide curriculum and assessment development, helped adapt textbooks and integrated state standards into successful programs at multiple high schools.
By taking on these challenging new roles, Alexander has acted on her deep belief in the value of education.
“My ultimate goal,” she said, “is to instill in my students a desire to become lifelong learners.”
And what’s the greatest lesson she’s learned in her