Eisenhower educator named teacher of the week

Stephen Mellen, a teacher at Dwight D. Eisenhower Middle School, was named the Prince George's County Public Schools' teacher of the week for the week of Nov. 17-23.

Mellen, who teaches sixth, seventh and eighth grades at the school, is Eisenhower's webmaster and coordinator of the school's Advancement via Individual Determination (AVID) program.

AVID is at 21 Prince George's middle schools and six high schools, and is a program that focuses on college readiness and increasing student learning and performance. According to the system's website, the core component of the program is the AVID Elective Course where middle- and high-school students receive guidance, academic support from college tutors, organizational and study skills and participate in activities that foster success in rigorous course work.

Mellen was a Prince George's County Public Schools teacher of the year nominee in 2011, and in addition to his teaching and AVID duties, acts as after-school programs coordinator at Eisenhower and serves on the school's technology committee, amid other responsibilities.

"I am really just a big kid in a lot of ways, so school is fun for me now," Mellen said. "It wasn't always. I was the kid in the class who was always getting into trouble, couldn't sit still and was always getting on the teachers' nerves. I love the chance to turn that around for kids. I try whenever I can to look at my classroom through that lens, and the AVID program is perfect because it is exactly what I needed back then. Now, I can imagine how much better I might have done if I just had someone who was paying better attention to me, and I'm glad to have that influence on my students."

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