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Melissa Grise Named IRSD Teacher of the Year
Melissa Grise Named IRSD Teacher of the Year
Posted on 04/18/2016

Melissa Grise of John M. Clayton Elementary School has been selected as the Indian River School District’s Teacher of the Year for 2016-2017.

The announcement was made at the district’s annual Teacher of the Year celebration on April 15 at The Clubhouse at Baywood Greens. Grise was chosen as the district’s overall winner from a pool of 16 candidates, one from each school.

Grise has been a fourth-grade general and special education teacher at John M. Clayton Elementary School since 2010. Previously, she was a fourth- and fifth-grade teacher at North Georgetown Elementary School from 2003-2010. She was North Georgetown’s Teacher of the Year in 2010. Grise holds a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood and K-4 Education from the University of Delaware and a master’s degree in literacy from Wilmington University.

Grise is a member of the John M. Clayton leadership team, the Indian River School District implementation cadre team, the district’s curriculum writing team for Grade 4 and the IRSD math curriculum adoption committee. She is also a lead math teacher and a new teacher mentor for the school district. At Wilmington University, she currently serves as a cooperating teacher who mentors student teachers and helps them develop their teaching skills. In 2015, Grise was selected to represent IRSD at the Yale National Initiative in New Haven, CT. During the session, she developed a math unit that focused on problem solving. That lesson has been published to the national YNI website.

“Melissa Grise is an administrator’s dream teacher – informed, dynamic and reflective – and is the person you want as your team member, teaching your students, and helping to improve your school any way she can,” said JMC Assistant Principal Allisa Booth. “As soon as you enter her classroom, it is clear that Mrs. Grise’s number one concern is her students. She is focused on educating the whole student, which makes instructional time sacred to Mrs. Grise. She wants her students learning the skills they need in order to be successful in fifth grade, middle school and beyond.”

“Melissa is an instructional leader that inspires each one of her peers to reach all of their students, no matter their academic ability or their socio-economic status,” said Charlynne Hopkins, district Director of Leadership Development and the former principal of John M. Clayton Elementary School. “Melissa not only sets high expectations for herself but also for her grade level teachers and students. In the classroom, she puts the students first and creates an environment that is safe, accepting and conducive to learning.”

“Melissa has been able to establish an atmosphere of learning that allows her students to work successfully toward meeting Common Core State Standards,” Board of Education President James Hudson said. “She has a clear vision of where she wants her students to be and is committed to the belief that all students can learn. Melissa provides quality standards-based instruction to her students, she communicates expectations to parents and she continually seeks professional development opportunities to broaden her knowledge.”

Hudson was North Georgetown Elementary School’s principal when Grise taught there from 2003-2010.

Teacher of the Year winners from each district school are as follows:


Karen Atkinson, G.W. Carver Academy
Nancy Dickens, Georgetown Elementary School
Corey Dietrich, Phillip C. Showell Elementary School
Jennifer Hitchens, Selbyville Middle School
Christina Hopkins, Georgetown Kindergarten Center
Amanda Miller, Lord Baltimore Elementary School
Melody Oneschuk, Southern Delaware School of the Arts
Emily Pettyjohn (Finalist), North Georgetown Elementary School
Stefanie Riddle, Millsboro Middle School
Anna Ruggiero, Sussex Central High School
Alyson Silva, Howard T. Ennis School
Christina Walls, Long Neck Elementary School
Stephanie Wilkinson, Indian River High School
Wanda Williams, East Millsboro Elementary School
Angela Wilson (Finalist), Georgetown Middle School

As the district’s Teacher of the Year, Grise is now eligible for the state Teacher of the Year Award, which will be announced in October. 

Melissa Grise

Melissa Grise addresses the audience after being named Teacher of the Year.

Teachers of the Year

IRSD Teachers of the Year (from bottom to top): Wanda Williams, Stephanie Wilkinson, Melissa Grise (overall winner), Emily Pettyjohn (finalist), Angela Wilson (finalist), Christina Hopkins, Jennifer Hitchens, Alyson Silva, Amanda Miller, Melody Oneschuk, Karen Atkinson, Christina Walls, Stefanie Riddle, Nancy Dickens, Anna Ruggiero and Corey Dietrich.





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