Staff Spotlight: Melissa Freedman
Melissa Freedman is the GSE’s new Assessment Coordinator who joined us in March. During her first few months on the job, she focused on learning systems that are used in the GSE’s teacher preparation programs, specifically the LiveText assessment system. Her main focus will be to support students and faculty using the system, as well as to complete projects related to Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) accreditation.
Freedman has always been drawn to education and the work of helping others succeed. She began her professional career as a third-grade teacher in Baltimore City. After two years, she decided that being in the classroom wasn’t the right fit for her career. She still wanted to be involved in education, specifically urban education, which led her to work for a nonprofit called The SEED Foundation for over a decade.
While with SEED, she worked primarily in Washington, DC, Baltimore and other parts of Maryland with low-income, first-generation students of color. The SEED Foundation supports students as they transition from high school into and through college, via a robust college access & success program, which she helped develop and manage. Reflecting on her time at SEED, Freedman said, “I got to see the power of programs that stick with students for the long-term. If they put in the work, there were positive results. Seeing students break traditions in their families and be the first to go to – and graduate from – college is what inspired me most.”
As a staff member at the GSE, Freedman continues to work toward a similar purpose. Though this role is more behind the scenes, she believes teacher education-related assessment and supporting work to prepare future educators is in alignment with her belief that all children deserve a quality education. Her favorite part about working is the opportunity to interact with a variety of students, staff, and faculty. “I am looking forward to opportunities to go to classes and demonstrate essential technology for students. Knowing that I am a part of their journey is a great feeling,” Freedman stated.
“I love that the GSE focuses on equity and social justice. I feel that I am supporting my own personal mission through my work as the GSE’s Assessment Coordinator.”
When not at work, Freedman enjoys exercise as well as spending time with family. She also spends time researching her ancestry. “I am very interested in my family history. I have spent time not only researching my ancestors, but also connecting with long-lost relatives and traveling to where my ancestors came from.”