Undaunted by a 600 percent increase in the number of English Language Learners (ELL) at her school over a five-year period, reading specialist Melissa Bott collaborates with school and district staff to help every student learn to read at McPolin Elementary School in Park City, Utah. Bott has worked with ELL staff, the district reading specialist and the school's teachers to create and support a "Step-In" reading instructional model. Rather than pulling younger students out of the regular classroom for isolated reading instruction, Bott and her team go into the classroom to work with students one-on-one or in small groups, in the presence of their regular teacher. Combining a deep knowledge of literacy with current, research-based instructional strategies and excellent computer skills, Bott has helped improve language arts test scores among ELLs and low-income students year after year. She brings parents into the educational process, organizing Parent Nights and working with parent volunteers. She was also instrumental in acquiring $5,000 for the school's reading program from a local women's group. Bott is a member of the school's Response to Intervention (RTI) Committee and Building Leadership Committee, as well as Park City School District committees on literacy and technology. She has made presentations, trained colleagues and demonstrated strategies related to guided reading, data analysis and the Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS) assessment.
1999 University of Utah, B.S.