By CATHY MOUNCE, Register Staff Writer
Once destined for medical school, Gainesville High School teacher Melissa Hutchison changed direction in college and was recently rewarded for that decision as she was named secondary teacher of the month at the Gainesville Independent School District board meeting on Monday.
“I grew up in Gainesville and I always had plans to be a doctor,” she said. “No one was more surprised than I was when a last minute certification program at the University of North Texas led me to teaching.”
She said, “I realized that I would be able to help kids more as a mentor or advocate in education than I could help them as a doctor.”
Hutchison graduated from UNT with a bachelor of arts in biology and chemistry and earned a masters degree in education administration.
“I have always been very goal oriented,” she said. “Even though I have worked at different school districts including Frisco and Lindsay, my heart was always in Gainesville.”
Working in a larger school district helped Hutchison acquire ideas she would later implement in Gainesville, she said.
“Frisco was a large exemplary rated school and while there I kept thinking how some of their programs would be great for Gainesville,” she said. “On a smaller scale, at Lindsay I, again, kept thinking how some of their successful programs could be added to the Gainesville portfolio.”
During the GISD board meeting, Hutchison also found out she has been named one of the two assistant principals at GHS. The other assistant principal is Ingrid Purvis.
“I will miss teaching but I know that I will be able to still be an advocate and mentor for students and will always maintain an open door policy,” she continued.
One of the projects Hutchison said she is excited about is the Collegiate Academy program.
“I look forward to working with both students and parents in the Collegiate Academy program which will allow high school students to earn dual credits with North Central Texas College,” she said.
Married for five years to Scott Hutchison, Hutchison has a three-year-old daughter Alexis and is glad to be working in Gainesville where she and her husband both grew up.
She said, “I am a mom now with a child that will be attending Gainesville schools so I want to make sure that all of our students have the best education we can provide.”
Principal David Glancy spoke about Hutchison at the board meeting by saying, “Ms. Hutchison combines outstanding instructional ability with a high level of involvement in student and community activities. Her patience, hard work and persistence has a strong, positive effect on the overall school climate of GHS.”
Hutchison said she loves her work and hopes to help her students discover satisfying career paths.
“ My parents always told me that I could achieve anything I set my mind to but most importantly they wanted me to be happy with whatever I chose to do,” she said. “I want that same thing for all GISD students.”