Dr. Melissa K. MlakarPart-Time Faculty
"Pursuing a higher degree allows you to stay abreast of current trends in education, develop your leadership style among your peers, and continue to grow and learn as an educator. Youngstown State's online degree program will allow you to do all of these things at your convenience and pace."
- Ed.D. in Educational Leadership – Youngstown State University, 2018
- Master's in Specific Learning Disabilities – Cleveland State University, 1999
- B.S. in Elementary Education – University of Cincinnati, 1992
- National Board-Certified Teacher
- Principal license and superintendent license
- ODE Striving Readers Grant awardee
- ODE Grant Reviewer
- She Talks Panelist – Walsh University
- Presenter, Teacher Leadership – OASSA Conference
In which online degree programs do you teach?
Which classes do you teach online?
EDAD 7020: Human Resource Leadership
What do you want students to take away from your classes?
Education is a service industry. Understanding how to effectively lead and manage faculty, staff and students is imperative to a building administrator's success. This course will allow students to explore their theories of leadership as well as discuss practical applications for developing professional capital within their building.
What advice would you give to those considering the online Master of Science in Education – Educational Administration program?
A growth mindset needs to be at the core of every school administrator's belief system. Being a lifelong student is the best model you can present to your staff and your students. Pursuing a higher degree allows you to stay abreast of current trends in education, develop your leadership style among your peers, and continue to grow and learn as an educator. Youngstown State's online degree program will allow you to do all of these things at your convenience and pace.
What do you think is the biggest challenge that teachers and educators face today?
One of the biggest challenges facing educators today is finding the time to stay abreast of the changing landscape of education. While continuing to do your job, you must also find time to read research, journals and books to continue to grow and learn as a professional. Lifelong learning is the biggest charge you can commit to as a professional.
Why did you start teaching?
I was one of those people who always knew I wanted to be a teacher. From second grade on, I never deviated from that goal. I love working with students, mostly middle grade students, and have found the same enjoyment in working with adult learners. All facets of education, teaching and administration, are rapidly changing, and I find that exciting and rewarding.
What is the one book you think everyone should read?
"Above the Line: Lessons in Leadership and Life from a Championship Program" by Urban Meyer
Tell us something interesting about yourself that your students might not know.
I have three teenagers, one in college and two in high school. I understand how difficult it can be to balance work, school and family. I have come to realize that there is no one way to be a great administrator, mom or student—but there are a million ways to be a good administrator, mom or student. The journey may be difficult, but it can be done. Persevere!