Centerview teacher Melissa Gustafson reading and smiling with a student

Melissa Gustafson

Centerview Elementary 

First grade teacher

What year did you start working in Spring Lake Park Schools? 

Why did you choose to join Spring Lake Park Schools?
I wanted to be in a smaller school district where I could help to make and influence change, both in the classroom and in a school as well as across a grade level and district wide. I believe our district not only listens, but adapts as needed. 

What's the best part of your day, as an employee of Spring Lake Park Schools?
When I see a student applying knowledge and skills they have gained, in a completely different way than I had originally planned. 

What do you do when you're not at work?
My husband and our kids love to travel. We did Iceland, Norway, Amsterdam, Yellowstone, Mount Rushmore, New York, Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto all this past summer. Climbing a glacier for five hours was most exhilarating! Our oldest son and his wife are expecting, so I'll be a Grandma in June! 

How do you personalize learning for students?
No year is the same, no class is the same, no lesson is the same and certainly no student is the same. Everyday, plans change based on what I learned the previous day about my students. It's important to be flexible and find ways to let the students guide the ship sometimes. 

What makes you #SLPPantherProud?
I love how intertwined my life is with SLP! Since 1999, our four kids have all attended SLP schools, with two already graduated and two attending the high school currently. I value and respect the relationships I have built over the years and across the buildings. The love I have for SLP is immeasurable.

Click here to read about other staff members and why they're #SLPPantherProud.