When Melissa Fletcher learned about the field of Speech-Language Pathology from her mentor and youth pastor, something just clicked. It seemed like the perfect way to use her love of medical sciences and fulfill her passion for helping others.
Today, Ms. Melissa so excited to join the Renaissance staff! She actually grew up right here in Castle Rock with her parents and three siblings. Her father has worked in higher education most of her life and her mother stayed home, juggling four children with active sports and extracurricular schedules. Even though her family moved to Southern California for a while, they visited often with friends and extended family.
As a highschooler, Melissa was active in her church and youth group community where the youth pastor mentored students as they transitioned out of high school, to higher education or other careers. Even though she dreamed of a profession in the medical field, Melissa was squeamish about blood and needles. When her pastor suggested she take a look at Speech Therapy, the dominos just fell into place. At the time, her father was the Dean of Health Science at California Baptist University. She was able to earn her Bachelor of Science degree in just three years and continued on to earn her Master of Arts degree at the University of Northern Colorado, marking her return back to her home state.
Melissa continued to expand her experience in a variety of clinical settings with both children and adults; including private practice, public schools, in-home, and outpatient rehabilitation. She has also had international experience in China, working with children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and head and neck cancer. For the past two and a half years, Melissa worked at a private clinic where she actually got to know our old SLP, Ms. Amanda! “[Amanda] shared wonderful things about the school and team here and asked if I would be interested when she had decided to move. After learning about the Expeditionary Learning style of the school and meeting the team, I couldn't wait for a new adventure!” Melissa says.
Melissa has a passion for working with kids and is excited to continue to do so here at REMS! Even though the school setting is very different than a clinic, Melissa has been so grateful for the other Special Education staff as she learns the ropes here. “I love my SPED team and all these kids so much! I have felt such great support from the principal and my team, as well as the teachers here. Everyone is very welcoming and eager to help me when I need it,” she recounts. Melissa also is enjoying the change of pace from day to day in a clinic office to the wide variety of needs and settings she works in around the school (and even remote from time to time, SIGH!)
One parent says, “We’re thrilled to have Melissa here at Renaissance! Our kiddo got to know her through her work in private therapy, and he continues to grow and flourish under her care again. He always talks about how fun their ‘games’ are, and loves their reading time too!”
Even though this year has brought a lot of transition for the community of Renaissance, Melissa hopes that her students enjoy getting to know her as much as she is them. “It certainly has taught me a great amount of flexibility, so my hope is to help the kids adjust and have fun in the process.”
In her spare time, Melissa loves traveling around and out of beautiful Colorado and finding new adventures. “I love hiking, mountain biking, paddleboarding, and binging new TV shows. (A healthy mixture of active/lazy.) My family is very close and we all live near to each other, so we spend a lot of time together and it is wonderful!” she shares enthusiastically. “I tried mountain biking for the first time this year and fell in love with it. I also hiked across the Grand Canyon for the first time this year (25 miles in one day) and plan to do it again this year!” She also says she cannot wait to experience the outdoor education that Renaissance offers in a typical year, and hopes to join on a voyage soon.
The Renaissance community is so lucky to welcome Ms. Melissa to our Crew and wish you the best in this new chapter of adventure!
We are crew
We love to celebrate all of the ways our Parent & Staff Crews make Renaissance a great place to grow and learn!