Hi! I am Melonie Cotter, a member of this Instructional Leadership Team, and Physics Teacher at Mills.
When I look to the night sky, I always look for Cassiopeia. That was the first constellation my dad pointed out. I was amazed by the sky and weather, and hooked on Science. After a college tour in Hawaii and Los Angeles, I earned a Bachelor of Science in Physics. Then after college I worked at the Exploratorium and knew teaching would be the perfect fit. I didn’t student teach, and went right into Vallejo as an intern, where I stepped up in many leadership roles on site, as well as coaching the swim team. Since then I have been all around the bay, providing PD and teaching physics and chemistry to all ages, all kinds of people, for my site, district, county, and state.
One of my favorite things about teaching and leading is that once someone observes new evidence, new conclusions can be made. This is true of science and anything we want to learn. Giving all students and teachers access to, and opportunity to try, effective instructional strategies is paramount to developing lifelong learners, of our students, and of each other. This team gives us a chance to explore and share lessons and tools that help all students and all teachers reach their goals, and the goals of the district.
I hope to show folks around me how connected we are, no matter the story. All of us are linked in a poetic tangle of nature, in a natural system that is predictable, and wild. Who we are, collectively, is made of these connections and cause-effect partnerships with the world, and universe. So cool!