Teacher of the Year

Congratulations Melissa Zablonski!

2022 Finalist
Putnam High School, Putnam

Learn More About Melissa

Melissa Zablonski is a Social Studies teacher and Humanities Faculty Coordinator at Putnam High School. Melissa began her teaching career in Putnam in 2015 after graduating from Eastern Connecticut State University with a bachelor’s degree in History and Social Sciences and Secondary Education. She teaches U.S. History, Psychology, and Anthropology. In her second year in Putnam, Melissa had the privilege of teaching two newcomer English Learners in her U.S. History class. The two students inspired her to pursue a master’s degree in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. Melissa emerged as an advocate for the equal education of English Learners in her district and positioned herself as a resource for other teachers seeking to increase their capacity to teach ELs. Her desire to make a bigger impact in EL education led her to pursue a Doctor of Education degree from Northeastern University, which she completed in April 2022. Her action research project sought to improve EL education in her district through the design of a professional development series intended to increase teacher capacity for teaching ELs in their mainstream classroom. Melissa’s goal is to empower students and educators to become change agents and advocates in their community.

Federal Recognition
“We want people to feel that the Mohegans are about the future…”
– Melissa Tantaquidgeon Zobel
Became first Native American tribe in the US to own a professional sports team
Acting lifetime Chief