Melissa Billington (2004-2006)

After Ohlone I transferred to San Francisco State University and earned a BA in English Literature. Then I transferred into National University where I earned a single subject teaching credential and an MA in Education.

After Ohlone and while completing my schooling, I got involved in Project S.H.I.N.E. which took me to a senior center in San Francisco’s Mission District where I got to help people learn English and help them work towards becoming U.S. citizens.

I taught ESL online to students ages 5-50 in South Korea, then worked for the San Mateo County Office of Education as a paraprofessional, where I worked in various settings –a juvenile detention center and in SDC classrooms with students ages 2-23 who have moderate to severe disabilities.

After I completed my student teaching, I became a substitute teacher for the Foster City school district. For the last 4 years I have been been teaching collaborative American Literature (11th grade English) at Lincoln High School in Stockton. Collaborative means that 1/3 of each of my classes is made up of students with learning disabilities, and I collaborate with the Special Education teacher(s) whom those students go to for English Support later in the day.
While I’ve been at the high school, I have turored in the school’s Writing Lab, worked in the Freshman Intervention program, and chaperoned student trips to Disneyland and the Every 15 Minutes overnight retreats.
This is my second year as the speech and debate coach, and I’ve taken students to various speech competitions throughout the state. This month I was elected to represent the English Department on the School Site Council.

While at Ohlone I had the privilege of being in classes taught by remarkable professors like Curtis Bressler, Carmen Madden, Mark Brosamer, Matthew Freeman, Brenda Ahntholz, Sandra Park, Paul Mueller, and Cynthia Katona.

My professors always upheld high standards and believed their students were intelligent and had the potential to produce good work. They believed in me, which nurtured my own beliefs in myself.

Ohlone opened my eyes to a whole world of education and new ideas. Ohlone provided me with my foundation in education and gave me the confidence I would need as I continued on my educational and life path.

I remember talking with a friend who also wanted to be a teacher during a break from a creative writing class one Spring evening, and can recall the delight I experienced as we chatted about what a great school Ohlone is and how one day we too would love to be great teachers like the ones we had!

I love Ohlone College. It is where I started and will always invoke a resounding feeling of “home” for me.