New teacher Melendez thrilled to teach a class in her native language

Wilnelia Melendez loves teaching Spanish at ARHS.

Wilnelia Meléndez was welcomed into the ARHS faculty this fall, teaching Spanish 1 and Spanish 2.

“I have [actually] been in the district for six years but I started teaching here just this year,” Meléndez said.

She has held other positions in the district such as the administrative assistant to the Dean of Students at ARHS and also as a secretary assistant at Wildwood. Meléndez is thrilled to teach a class her native language. 

Meléndez is currently a part of the Para to Teacher Program which is why she is now teaching at Amherst. The Para to Teacher Program offers financial aid to paraprofessionals residing in Massachusetts who wish to become certified as full-time teachers according to the official website of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Melédez is attending Mount Holyoke College to gain her master’s degree in teaching. 

This isn’t the first time that Meléndez came through the doors; she actually graduated from Amherst Regional High School and attended Crocker Farm in her youth. 

Melédez was born and raised in Puerto Rico, making Spanish her first language, but she moved to Massachusetts when she was in fourth grade. After graduating from ARHS, she went on to be accepted into UMass Amherst and continued her education there. 

Meléndez loves being a Spanish teacher.“Being an educator comes with a lot of responsibility,” she said, “and it is my mission to teach my students Spanish and have them use it in the future.” 

In her first few months as a teacher, Meléndez said she has become fond of her students and colleagues. “I like the students, they are great students,” she said. “And I like the support I get from my colleges.” 

Apart from work and school Meléndez likes “to spend time with my daughters, my family, and my friends.”