Melanie is a National Board Certified Teacher, certified reading specialist, and co-owner and Senior Consultant for Focus 5, Inc. She designs and leads workshops, in-depth courses, and summer institutes focused on aligning arts integration, best instructional practices, and current research in the fields of arts and education.
Ms. Rick works in art museums, schools, and art centers across the country, helping teachers develop their students’ visual literacy and critical thinking skills through the integration of visual art and poetry throughout the curriculum.
Melanie is currently a National Teaching Artist, course leader and instructional arts coach for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Art’s Changing Education Through the Arts (CETA) program in Washington, D.C. She also served as the CETA program consultant for five years, working with teaching artists to develop and evaluate workshops presented at the Kennedy Center.
Melanie holds an MA in Literacy Curriculum and Instruction from Virginia Tech and a BA in Elementary and Special Education from Clemson University. She has over 25 years of experience integrating the arts with general education, special education, and English Language Learners. She has been a classroom teacher in 3rd, 4th, 6th, and 7th grades as well as an arts integration specialist in a Title I arts magnet school.