Long-time beloved PE and Health teacher, Mrs. Mello retires from Mission Viejo High School.
2003: the year of Finding Nemo, Juicy tracksuits, and Beyoncé’s Crazy in Love. It was also the first year that our very own Mrs. Mello began teaching here at Mission Viejo High School. Nineteen years later, Mrs. Mello announced her retirement.
Schools before MVHS, too, have been blessed with Mrs. Mello’s teaching. She taught at Rancho Santa Margarita Intermediate School for eight years where she taught 8th grade PE and health. Before that, she taught at a different school for five years. Needless to say, Mrs. Mello has been teaching for a while. “My passion and love for my students has kept me teaching for over thirty years.”
It all started with the PE teacher’s love of sports, which goes back quite a ways. “I love sports, all sports,” she quotes. Growing up, she played basketball and tennis. A tennis scholarship introduced her to St. Mary’s college in Northern California, where she fell in love with the “small school environment” (and met her husband!). She came to the decision that she wanted to major in “something that required very little math,” and so the well-loved teacher’s career began.
“I wanted to be different,” she said in regards to how she values helping students, especially those who aren’t as good at sports or athletics as others. “I just wanted to reach kids and help them with their confidence, as far as sports goes.”
Aside from PE, Mrs. Mello really enjoyed teaching Health, where she could better connect to her students. Though her favorite part of teaching is “definitely the students.” She noted how she loves to see her former students and “how well they’re doing now and that they still want to reach out” to her.
When asked about her sources of inspiration, Mrs. Mello replied with, “I’d say my peers in education. There’s so many great teachers that care. I want to see that the teachers are actually reaching out and paying attention to what [the students] are going through.”
“Hopefully they got to have a break in their day where they could exercise, socialize, and hopefully reduce their anxiety,” Mello expresses about what she hopes her class has meant to her students. She puts a very high value on the importance of paying attention to the students who are struggling, and to hopefully be someone for them to talk to. “Treat the students the way you would like to be treated,” she says of her teaching philosophy.
Mrs. Mello’s contagious positivity is a well-known trait to all of her students, from past to present. “If I can show some positivity, hopefully that rubs off on [the students].” With the daily challenges that come with being a teacher, Mrs. Mello explains to be such a positive role for the students, “You just have to wait it out, and stay positive. Patience is huge.”
To close it out, the wise Mrs. Mello offers some advice, “Be true to yourself and what you feel. And don’t be afraid to talk to a friend, a teacher, a counselor. Because talking about your feelings will make you feel a hundred times better.” She also suggests to “have a lot of diversity in your friendships.”
Thank you, Mrs. Mello, for being such a great teacher!