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School Board Member Melissa ByrdMelissa Byrd was elected to represent District 7 on the Orange County School Board in 2018. From an early age, Melissa Byrd had a passion for education, deciding she wanted to be a teacher when she was in elementary school while growing up in Altamonte Springs.

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 recently 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.