Meet Elizabeth Melendez! Implementation Coach at Edmentum.
Tell us about yourself!
Even though I currently live in Arizona, I consider myself a Texan! I was born in Texas, grew up in Texas, attended college in Texas and lived all over the state. When people ask me where I’m from, I always say, “Texas”, without even stopping to think that I no longer live there. I come from a family of teachers: grandmothers, mother, aunts, one uncle, cousins, and my 3 sisters. My background in marketing communications led me to adult training and learning, which provided a direct path to working in educational technology. When the opportunity arose to manage a project (for a provider of educational technology) in Kansas, I jumped at the chance to work directly with teachers and in classrooms, even though it meant leaving Texas.
How did you hear about Edmentum?
After working with the educational technology company for 3 years, I left to join The Lightspan Partnership in 1996. Lightspan was a new company with some exciting ideas about providing educational content for students and resources for teachers, and I was thrilled to provide training and assist with implementations. While at Lightspan, I moved from Kansas back to Texas, then Oklahoma, then back to Texas. In 2002, I became an agency consultant (for Lightspan) and continued to support customers, as well as provide consulting to other districts that needed assistance with professional development planning and materials creation. When Plato Learning (now Edmentum) purchased Lightspan in 2004, I joined the professional services organization as an implementation coach and have been working with schools and districts across the southwest full time since then.
What is your department responsible for?
The professional services organization includes a great group of implementation coaches. We support schools and districts that are using Edmentum products by providing implementation planning, virtual and onsite training, and helping with the integration of instructional technology into their classrooms and schools. We work closely with our internal partners as well, to help ensure that every facet of a client’s implementation is progressing smoothly so the end result – student success – can be realized.
What interests you about the field that you are in?
I love working with a wide (and varied) group of individuals, where there is an opportunity to have a positive impact every single day. It may be an administrator who needs help planning an initial training event, a teacher determining how to use a lesson with students, a learner celebrating success, or a colleague who wants to brainstorm new ideas. My role as an implementation coach at Edmentum is an ideal fit for me because it gives me the chance to interact with fascinating people, exchange ideas and information, learn about others, and travel to sometimes unusual (but always interesting) places.
What activities are you interested in outside of work?
My dad grew up on a farm in the Rio Grande Valley. We always had a small garden at home growing up, but I never gave much thought to it. When I moved to Phoenix, I was amazed to learn that things grow here year ‘round! I planted my first garden that fall, and I am now a 12-month a year “backyard gardener”. It is incredible to prepare the soil, plant seeds, nurture the seedlings, then harvest and enjoy – and share with others! I also am passionate about football and am always excited when fall comes for that reason.
What are your professional goals?
As a “seasoned” member of the workforce, my professional goals are centered on continuing to learn and grow as we adapt to changes in our industry. I’d like to continue my work as an implementation coach, fine-tuning my presentation and facilitation skills.