My name is Melanie Gildharry and I am currently an Instructional Technology Coordinator for Des Moines Public Schools in Des Moines, IA. In my current position, I work on a team that supports innovative teaching practices, explores digital learning options, facilitates the work of “Trailblazers” in their work with blended learning, creates professional development opportunities and does everything possible to contribute to DMPS becoming the model for urban education in the United States.
I am originally from North Carolina, however, my family and I relocated to Iowa in July 2013. In NC, I taught Chemistry and Forensic Science at a public high school prior to becoming a Technology Facilitator at the same high school. In addition to scheduling, managing and facilitating staff development workshops, I also managed the school technology budget, collaborated to provide leadership in the school, worked with teachers and staff in resource selection and purchase, wrote requests for federal funding, developed a school technology plan aligned with the district’s plan, prepared and submitted reports tailored to specific requests, created deliverables for various campus systems, regularly attended district-level meetings and completed other tasks as assigned.
I earned my Master of Education in Instructional Systems Technology through the University of North Carolina Charlotte, where I gained a deep understanding of adult learning, instructional design and instructional systems. Prior to completing my Masters, I earned my Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from The George Washington University and my Teaching Certificate in Comprehensive Science from the UNCC. I have a deep passion for education and for the integration of powerful technology tools into educational and professional settings. Attending workshops in Washington, DC, Rockville, MD, Houston, TX, as well as district-wide and school level workshops, has given me a variety of technology strategies to recommend, demonstrate, model, and use within my position. Additionally, I have a talent for attending to details, a persistence for self-learning and a determination to overcome challenges. I have established a strong foundation in technology troubleshooting, integration and leadership through my experience, curiosity, numerous professional development workshops and hard work. However, because I am a lifelong learner, it is my goal to continue advancing in instructional systems technology and to learn the skills and knowledge necessary to make me a dynamic and adaptable professional.