The student news site of Melissa High School

Cardinal Connection

The student news site of Melissa High School

Cardinal Connection

The student news site of Melissa High School

Cardinal Connection

Teacher Spotlight: Melanie Fox

Miranda Sirota

When wandering the third floor in search of Mrs. Melanie Robyn Fox’s classroom, students can simply follow the sweet scent of Fruity Pebbles Cereal and find their way to a classroom adorned with colorful decor from floor to ceiling. Mrs. Fox, an English teacher known for her vibrant classroom and pleasantly eccentric personality, has taught at Melissa ISD for two years now. 

“From the beginning of my teaching career, my classroom has always been decorated in a lively and eclectic manner, with a feeling of home,” Fox said. “The pictures and trinkets around my room are my memories of my family and my teaching career.”

Fox previously earned both a Bachelor of Arts in Literature and Master of Arts in the Humanities at The University of Texas at Dallas, as well as a Master of Education in Educational Leadership at Southeastern Oklahoma State University. She applies these hard-earned degrees to both her English IIII and Dual Credit English Composition classes.

“Melissa ISD affords me the opportunity to be who I am and express myself as a teacher and as a person,” Fox said. “My opinions matter and I feel part of a family at this district.”

Fox’s love for teaching expresses itself through her unwavering patience with students and her efforts to encourage creativity within their writing.

“I was inspired to be a teacher from the moment I read Beowulf in senior English class,” Fox said. “Through the literature I found myself transported to places far away from Desoto, Texas.”

Throughout high school in Melissa, students have read many pieces of classic literature such as “The Great Gatsby,” “Of Mice and Men,” “Hamlet,” “The Crucible,” and much more. However, Fox recommends that every high school student reads a novel entitled “The Little Price.”

“‘The Little Prince’ by Antoine de Saint Exupéry is the one book that every high school student should read because its themes are universal and its lessons humble,” Fox said. “The book looks like a children’s book, but between the lines are adult issues melded with childlike wonder and innocence.”

As far as a book that has most impacted her own life, Fox chose a standard of Greek epic poetry: “The Odyssey” by Homer.

“The captivating tale of Odysseus’ 10-year journey home, back to his wife, after the Trojan War is captivating and compelling,” Fox said. “The term ‘carpe diem’ or, for a modern audience FOMO, encapsulates this hero and, because of all of this and more, this book has impacted me in a way that shaped my early life and set me on a particular trajectory that I will always be grateful for—I understand Odysseus and his desire for adventure, yet always yearning to come home in the end.”

Although Fox, like all teachers, spends most of the day at school, she enjoys baking, cooking, and watching documentaries (especially those by Ken Burns) in her free time. While Fox is appreciated for her baking skills, she will always be known for the difference she has made in many students lives within her quaint classroom.

“One day, out of the blue, a former student will walk by the candle aisle in Wal-Mart, or his/her child will open up a box of Fruity Pebbles cereal, and he/she will catch a whiff of a familiar scent and they will be transported back to an enveloping embrace in my classroom,” Fox said. “That’s my legacy.”

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About the Contributor
Miranda Sirota, Editor-in-Chief
Miranda Sirota is a senior this year at Melissa High School. This is her third year writing for the Cardinal Connection. Miranda is also involved in other extracurriculars including Band, HOSA, NHS, academic UIL, and Book Club. Outside of school, she enjoys reading, cooking, and binge-watching her favorite TV shows. After graduating, Miranda plans to study Dental Hygiene to become a registered hygienist.

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