Melissa Byrd was elected to represent District 7 on the Orange County School Board in 2018. From an early age, She had a passion for education, deciding she wanted to be a teacher when she was in elementary school while growing up in Altamonte Springs.
In just two short years as your School Board Member, Melissa Byrd has worked for you, to improve your schools and our community.
Since elected, she has:
- Delivered District 7’s first K-8 school four years early
- Strengthened career training opportunities in architecture and health care
- Helped create Orange County’s first culinary magnet at Wekiva High
- Provided the largest pay raise for teachers in all of Central Florida
- Pushed academic excellence through district-wide speech and debate initiative
- Led effort to ensure equal treatment of girls with dress code
- Fairer enforcement of Code of Conduct for all students
- Provided grants to every district school for local programs
- Increased focus on student mental health in OCPS strategic plan
- Fought for working families in school start-time debate
- Protected baseball and softball programs with new, safe district-wide field lighting
Get to Know Melissa Byrd
Her passion led her to the University of Central Florida, where she received her degree in elementary education in 1997 and started her career at Forest City Elementary, the school she attended as a child.
At Forest City Elementary, Melissa assumed leadership positions in addition to teaching first grade. She spent two years as a Title I reading resource teacher working with struggling readers in all grades. She implemented and supervised a groundbreaking program at the school whereby she trained older students in specific reading strategies to work with and remediate below-level readers in younger grades. She was also the staff trainer for the Reading Recovery and Four Blocks literacy program.
From there, Melissa moved to Pace Brantley Hall School in Longwood, where she specialized in working with children with learning differences in first through fourth grade. While at Pace Brantley, she worked extensively on brain-based research training and completed a clinical supervision course through UCF, as well as graduate level educational leadership courses.
In 2003, Melissa left the classroom to raise her daughters, Abigail and Madeline. Throughout their schooling, Melissa has been actively involved in her daughters’ education. She served as the PTSA vice president and chair of the School Advisory Council at Piedmont Lakes Middle. At Clay Springs Elementary, she volunteered at multiple PTA events and was a regular classroom volunteer.
She served as a substitute teacher for Orange County Public Schools, working in elementary, middle and high schools in northwest Orange County.
Melissa moved from Altamonte Springs to the Apopka area in 1998 after marrying Alan Byrd, owner of Alan Byrd & Associates, a public relations and marketing firm. She and her family attend Journey Christian Church.
Melissa is a graduate of Orlando Business Force’s Central Florida Political Leadership Institute as well as Leadership Apopka.
Melissa serves on the Community Action Board for Orange County Government, the Apopka Community Advisory Council for AdventHealth Apopka, and the Wekiva Culinary Program Advisory Council.
In 2019, Melissa was named an Emerging Leader from the Florida School Boards Association and in 2020, she earned the distinction of Certified Board Member.
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