Teaching Ambassador Fellowship
West Bloomfield, Michigan
2016 Classroom Teacher Ambassador Fellow
Third-grade Teacher, Keith Elementary School
Bio/Overview: Arabo is a third-grade teacher at Keith Elementary School in West Bloomfield, Michigan. She held a hybrid role in the Walled Lake Consolidated School District as both a fourteen-year classroom teacher and district leadership developer. Arabo is the 2015 Michigan Teacher of the Year and plays an active role in her school and local community. She facilitates professional development in a range of topics, including implementation of Common Core State Standards, reading comprehension strategies with an emphasis on metacognition, math fact fluency, and her biggest passion, bully prevention. She is the author of the Chaldean for Kids book series and Diary of a Real Bully, a children’s picture book which teaches the difference between real life bullying and the bully stereotypes we see on tv and in the media.
Educational Values/Philosophy: Melody believes that teacher leadership is essential to growth and progression in education. Her purpose is to use her passion and teacher leadership skills to make a lasting, positive impact in the education field. Her goal is to create opportunities for teacher leaders to make a greater impact and influence education policy, while remaining close to the classroom. Arabo has had the opportunity to travel around the state and country to highlight the outstanding advancements of the public school system and celebrate the hard work and unmatched dedication of public school teachers. Since our system is in a constant state of change and transformation, she advocates for educators to be at the forefront.
Achievements: In addition to being the 2014 Michigan Teacher of the Year, Arabo has been honored with several other awards for her instruction and leadership, including being the Oakland County Elite 40 Under 40 Winner in 2015, Keith Elementary Teacher of the Year in 2008 and Runner Up for Walled Lake District Teacher of the Year. She received the 2013 Walled Lake PTSA Honorary Service Award and was recognized by the National Education Association as a Master Teacher in 2014. Melody was an America Achieves Michigan Educator Voice Fellow in 2014 and became a Lead Fellow in 2015. She was the first teacher to be named to Detroit Public Television’s Board of Directors.
Leadership Experience: Arabo is an alumnus of the Galileo Teacher Leadership Academy, an active member of her school's Leadership Team, and the Keith Caring Community Club Coordinator. She is a teacher representative for the Walled Lake Instructional Council (iCouncil), which is a diverse group of administrative and teacher leaders working together to define good instruction and implement the latest research-based best practices. In 2014, she was selected as one of 96 Master Teachers from across the country to take part in the NEA/BetterLesson Master Teacher Project. She is a member of both Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley’s Special Education Task Force and the ECET2 Michigan Planning Committee. Arabo is also one of the founding members of Teachers Educating and Creating Hope (TEACH), an organization that provides education and resources to Chaldean families in northern Iraq.
Affiliations: Michigan Education Association, National Network of State Teachers of the Year, Galileo Teacher Leadership Alumni, ECET2 Michigan, TEACH, America Achieves Michigan Educator Voice Fellows, Detroit Public Television.
Education: Melody Arabo received her Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and her Master’s degree in Teaching and Curriculum from Michigan State University.
Areas of Interest:
- Teacher Leadership
- Hybrid Roles
- Bully Prevention
- Special Education Reform
- Inclusion and Equity