Winners > Melissa Owens
Colonial Intermediate Unit 20
I had the distinct pleasure of meeting Ms. Owens when I was a high school student. Her kind actions selfless personality drive for inclusivity and dedication to helping students succeed are just some of the wonderful traits she possesses. It was the Summer of 2018 when she told me she had stage 2 Breast Cancer. She went through countless rounds of chemotherapy. She remained strong and did not slow down. On December 20th, 2018 Ms. Owens rang the bell. In December 2020 she was diagnosed with Breast Cancer again. I beat cancer once I can do it again is a mantra of hers that symbolizes her fight. This time she needed a double mastectomy. After that surgery in February 2021, she began and is currently going through radiation. She continued to be a classroom teacher in a High School Autistic Support Classroom and is now the program specialist to help mentor teachers. Additionally, she still organizes the Sensitive Santa and Easter Bunny community events for individuals to have the chance to take family pictures in a low-sensory environment. She persisted through it all. I have seen firsthand the incredible impacts she has made and continues to make on not only students but staff parents and community members.