Sonoma County Office of Education

SCOE Employee Center

Employee Spotlight: Melissa McConnell-Quinn

03/01/2019 - Melissa McConnell-QUinn

Melissa McConnell-Quinn

Years at SCOE:
Fiveóbefore that, I was an elementary school teacher for 11 years. My most recent teaching job was in Humboldt County. I served as an Induction mentor while teaching in Humboldt, which is how I learned about the job at North Coast.

Job Title:
Curriculum Specialist

How do you describe your job to people outside SCOE?
My job has so many aspects so itís interesting to explain what I do for a living. My main job is to write PD for the Induction Program; I write the Intern Support and Supervision PD for those with an intern credential; I write all of the PD for mentors in the Induction and Intern Support and Supervision Programs; I facilitate PD in-person and virtually for our regional Induction Program; I am an Instructor for the Be a Teacher program; I am a Practicum Supervisor for a Be A Teacher Intern; and I am the edTPA (teacher performance assessment) coordinator for North Coast.

Where did you grow up?
I am from Massachusetts. My husband was in the Coast Guard and was stationed in Humboldt County. That is how I ended up in CA.

Who was your favorite childhood teacher and why? I loved all of my teachers. If I had to choose a favorite, I would say my Government and Law teacher, Mr. Conry. I had him my senior year in high school and the thing I liked about his class was the really deep conversations we would have. He was a former cop and brought the most fascinating discussions to class. I remember wanting to become a high school teacher because of him. I wanted to bring rich discussions, dialogues, and debates to my class. I worked with a high school class during one of my college education classes and decided that I was much better suited for elementary students!

What is your favorite thing about working for SCOE?
One job that I have at NCSOE that I love most is working with all of our new Be A Teacher Interns who are so excited to be teachers. Their excitement reminds me why I wanted to become a teacher. I cherish the time that I get to go into the fourth-grade class as a Practicum Supervisor because it helps me stay connected to the classroom. I really miss teaching.

What is one of your most memorable moments as a SCOE employee?
We are so lucky to attend the professional development that is available to us. My career has been so enriched because of the opportunities provided through SCOE. The speakers weíve been able to see have been so amazing. I met John Hattie, Sal Khan from Khan Academy, Caine from Caineís Arcade. Each PD leaves me feeling refreshed, rejuvenated, and blessed.

Outside of work, what is your favorite hobby or way to unwind?
I spend most of my time with my dog. Heís a beagle-spaniel mix named Fenway. My husband and I are HUGE New England sports fans, so we were happy with the 18-19 World Series and Super Bowl victories. My husband and I also try to hike the trails through the Redwoods as much as possible and hit the CrossFit gym at least 5 times a week. Itís fun to do all of this together.

What is your favorite place in Sonoma County?
I love the fact that there are vineyards here. You can hike through vineyards, next to vineyards, and the wine itself is just amazing. This is just a beautiful, beautiful area.

What might people be surprised to learn about you?
I am a hardcore fan of boy bands. I saw NíSYNC in concert seven times and will be seeing New Kids on the Block for the 4th time in May.