She has served as a PK-12 librarian and theatre director. She began writing poetry in The Gambia. Her origins as a small town New England girl found her basking in the limelight of the ordinary, smelling the autumn trees, walking to school, and listening to her Italian grandmother tell stories of the Piedmont, which gave her a foundation as a writer. Melanie has twice been short listed by the Bridport Arts Council in the U.K. and once by Vallum Magazine of Contemporary Poetry in Canada. She has won first and second place in the Milford Arts Council. Melanie did sub-fellowship work at Mailer’s homes in Provincetown and Brooklyn Heights, prior to being honored as a Norman Mailer Writers’ Colony Fellow in Salt Lake City in 2014. Her poetry has been published in High Tide, the English Journal , Vallum Magazine of Contemporary Poetry and The Journal of Language and Literacy Education. She is an examiner for the IB and has chaired and served on accreditation teams for Middle States and CIS. She has taught for Bilkent University for 8 years and is currently Head of English at the Laboratory School in Erzurum, Turkey.
After giving up his kindergarten dream to become a garbage collector, the only thing Jim ever wanted to do was to become a teacher. His serendipitous professional life started with a mistaken assignment as a kindergarten student teacher. After cutting his teeth as a teacher in the unstable world of an inner city middle school, he became the first male kindergarten teacher in Bridgeport CT and the second in the state. Changing grades and teaching assignments characterized his teaching career that ranged from PreK through high school history. He served as an adjunct professor for TCNJ. Jim made the switch from teacher of students to teacher of teachers as the Director of the American School of Mogadishu, Somalia. Subsequent headships in Barcelona, Aruba, Banjul, Zagreb and Ankara led him to his current assignment as General Director of the Bilkent Erzurum Laboratory School, an all-scholarship school for scholarly Turkish students in eastern Turkey. Jim has served as a Commissioner for Middle States, on the Board of CEESA, chaired accreditation teams for CIS and Middle States, and is currently serving on the IB Regional Council for Africa, Europe and the Middle East.